5 Reasons You Feel Bloated More Often After 45 + Tea Recipe

Wonder why you used to be able to drink anything, eat anything, get little sleep, and you never felt bloated. Now it seems like no matter what you do, you are looking bloated like you are 5 month’s pregnant?

Bloated after 45 | Women and Bloating | Reasons I am Bloated

Bloating is generally the result of not being able to properly digest foods.  These not-so-digested foods feel like they’re just sitting around causing discomfort and a general feeling of being stuffed and “gassy”.

It can happen at any age but if it seems to be more frequent as you’re getting older, it can very well be because of your stomach’s reduced ability to produce enough acid for proper digestion.

Normally when we eat, cells in our stomach release acid. This acid is important for many digestive processes like breaking down foods and activating enzymes.  As we age, this process can become less efficient. The result can feel like it’s wreaking havoc on the stomach and abdomen. Unfortunately, this has wide-ranging effects on all of our digestion abilities “downstream” and that can result in bloating.

5 Reasons You Feel Bloated After 45

Bloated – #1

Sometimes our bodies are more sensitive to the fiber in certain fruits or veggies.  This can also occur when we introduce new ones into our diet as it may take a while for our body to get used to them.

Pro Tip:  Try chewing your vegetables more thoroughly or lightly cooking or steaming raw ones.  If a fruit or veggie seems to be consistently related to bloating try eliminating it for a few weeks and monitor your symptoms.

Bloated – #2

Decreased stomach acid can reduce the activation of a key protein-digesting enzyme, “pepsin”.  This means that the proteins you eat aren’t broken down as easily. They can pass through your system somewhat “undigested”. This can cause gas to build up.

Pro Tip:  You may consider reducing animal-based foods you eat and see if that helps you out.

Bloated – #3

One thing that can seriously cause bloating is when your digestive system slows down.  Things seem to be a bit stagnant, just hanging around in there longer than you’d like.

Ginger has been found to help with digestion and reduce nausea for certain people.  Peppermint is thought to help your digestive muscles keep pushing food through, so it doesn’t stay in one spot for too long.

Pro Tip:  Consider drinking a digestive tea like peppermint or ginger.  See recipe below. Traditional Medicines Belly Comfort is a good after dinner tea.

Bloated after 45 | Women and Bloating | Reasons I am Bloated

Bloated – #4

Slow digestion in your stomach and transit in your small intestine puts extra stress on the large intestine.  The large intestine is the home of all of your wonderful gut microbes that have SO many functions in the body.  The problem is when undigested food enters the large intestine it can feed the not-so-great microbes.  These “unfriendly” bacteria produce waste material and gas as a part of their natural metabolism.  The more of these microbes you have in your system, (they will multiply if they are constantly being fed by undigested food in the large intestine) the more gas will be produced in the large intestine.

Pro Tip:  Try eating more fermented foods.  Fermented foods contain probiotics which will feed the good bacteria and microbes in your system to keep the bad guys at bay  This includes greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi (as long as these don’t cause bloating for you!).  You can even drink Kombucha. Make sure they’re unpasteurized and contain live cultures.  If you cannot tolerate dairy-based yogurt and kefir, dairy free options are available. You could try making your own dairy free versions.

Pro Tip: You can also consider taking a probiotic supplement. Just check the label first to make sure it’s right for you.

Bloated – #5

With reduced stomach acid you may have a reduction of the “activation” of several of your digestive enzymes (protein-digesting pepsin being one of them).  In order for certain enzymes to go to work digesting your food, they need to be activated.  This usually happens with the assistance of stomach acid.

Pro Tip:  You may consider trying an enzyme supplement to assist your body in digesting food while you work on reestablishing your own production of stomach acid (a healthy diet and lifestyle can do this!).  But before you do make sure you read the labels because some of them interact with other supplements, medications, or conditions and may not be safe for long-term use.

Conclusion:

You can try the “pro tips” I’ve given you in this post.  Maybe you’d prefer working with a practitioner on an elimination diet to get to the bottom of which foods you may be sensitive to?  If bloating is a serious problem you should see your doctor or consider working with a health coach.

Recipe (Tummy Soothing Tea): Ginger Mint Tea

Serves 1

  • Fresh ginger root (about 2”)
  • Mint leaves
  • Hot water
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  • Honey (optional)

Pour the water into a saucepan and heat it on the stove. Grate the ginger root into the saucepan.  Let it come to a boil, and then simmer for 3-5 minutes. Strain the tea into a cup with a fine mesh strainer and add lemon and/or honey as desired.

Tip:  If you don’t want to use a grater and strainer then you can peel the ginger and thinly slice it into your cup before adding boiling water.  The pieces should be big enough that they will sink to the bottom.

Serve and Enjoy!

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause
https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-ways-to-reduce-bloating/
http://www.dietvsdisease.org/how-to-get-rid-of-bloating/
http://summertomato.com/too-many-vegetables-how-to-prevent-gas-and-digestive-problems-caused-by-healthy-eating
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/elimination-diet
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/peppermintoil
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger
Bloated after 45 | Women and Bloating | Reasons I am Bloated

 

Choices Reflect Hopes Not Fears

Choices Reflect Hopes | Hopes Not Fears | Nelson Mendela | Quote | Inspiring Words

Life is always full of surprises. Some good and some, not so good.  When we are stuck in fear, we don’t move forward.

When life changes, fear can cause a bad case of procrastination.

That is how I have felt the last few weeks. Due to some personal issues relating to my health, as well as things going on with my family, I have not focused on my health coaching business, except to complete prior commitments. I have been afraid to make changes to my business.  I have been stuck. I have been choosing fear, but no more.

I now realize I need to focus more on those personal issues, especially my health.  Therefore, I will not be taking on any new clients, at least until fall.  That will give me the time I need to focus on my priorities. I am still a health coach, but by not taking on new clients, it will free up that time as well as the time it takes to market my services.

I will be blogging. I love to write about health topics, so watch for new posts coming soon. I am not going anywhere, just rearranging my life to fit my priorities.

Don’t be afraid to make changes to your life when you need to.  It is only through change that we grow.

“May your choices reflect hopes, not your fears.”  Nelson Mandela

The photo above is a bud dipped in dew on a tree in my backyard. Spring is budding here in the upper, central plains.  What better time to grow and bloom!

Choices Reflect Hopes | Hopes Not Fears | Nelson Mendela | Quote | Inspiring Words

7 Hacks for Well Woman Perimenopause to Rock Your Midlife

Perimenopause is the changes that happen the years before you enter menopause as your body adjusts to changes in hormones. Menopause is entered into when it has been at least one year from your last period. This entire time is a time of change.  Try these hacks to help you get through it more comfortably. Well woman perimenopause allows you to rock your life as your kids move away and you can focus on you.

Well Woman Perimenopause | Natural Hacks To Feel Great Menopause | 7 Hacks to Be Well During Perimenopause

Of course, you should listen to what your doctor says.

But do you listen to what your body says?

We both know that what you eat and how you move can make a HUGE improvement in some of the symptoms of perimenopause.  Not to mention how common it is for ladies to gain weight at this time of life. (Ugh!)

As you know, being a well woman during perimenopause can help you stave off other issues like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

What do I specifically recommend to help you “feel well during the course of perimenopause on the road to menopause”?

7 Hacks to Well Woman Perimenopause to Rock Your Midlife

1. Stay Hydrated

Drink more water.

The general consensus is to drink 1/2 your weight in ounces.  If you don’t feel you need that much, you definitely need to at least drink enough throughout the day so that you’re not thirsty. I know that’s easy to say, but really it’s also easy to do.  Determine how much water you need.

Don’t like plain water?  Add in some berries or chopped frozen fruit.

Prefer tea?  Steep some sliced lemon and/or ginger or your favorite herbal tea.  This counts toward hydration as well.

You can also keep a large bottle or mug beside you all day wherever you work, so it’s always easy to grab and have sips throughout the day to make sure you’re not getting thirsty.

2. Eat Whole Plant Foods

What are whole plant foods? Vegetables and fruits.  Think of things without labels. We’re going for quantity here especially vegetables.  Try to include them in every meal and even in your snacks.

Want another reason to eat more plants?

Plant-based diets are associated with fewer hot flashes.  Bonus!

Plus, my recipe below is your “no excuse” solution to getting more veggies wherever you go.

Well Woman Perimenopause | Natural Hacks To Feel Great Menopause | 7 Hacks to Be Well During Perimenopause

3. Eat High-Quality Proteins and Healthy Fats

While you’re chomping your plant foods don’t forget to include some good quality protein and healthy fats) from eggs, fish, meat, beans, nuts and seeds (and their butters). Proteins are an important part of healthy eating.

With animal foods we’re aiming for quality so try to get organic, wild, and/or pasture-raised if you can. Stay away from proteins that were given hormones.  As for fish, wild caught is typically better.

4. Cut back on Processed Foods and Alcohol

Reducing and/or eliminating processed foods, alcohol and even caffeine can have a tremendous impact on balancing your hormones naturally without the help of pharmaceutical medications.

With increases in water, whole plant foods, quality proteins and some healthy fats, you simply won’t have as much room for processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Ideas for cutting back on processed foods.

Don’t forget to cut back on sugar. With the decrease of processed foods, this should happen naturally, but always be aware of the amount of sugar you are consuming, even if it is a natural sugar.

5. Stop Being Stationary, Just Move

Sitting is now considered the new smoking.  Staying stationary for much of the day is not healthy.  Find ways to move.

Remember that the best exercise is the one you’ll actually do.

Start small.  Figure out how much movement you do and then add in one small thing each day.  As you feel stronger, you will want to move more.

Walking, even a few feet every 15-20 minutes can get your body feeling more energetic.  It doesn’t have to be longer or at a fast pace.

Adding in a quick exercise such as push-ups, crunches, or squats after every time you go to the bathroom, can really add up over time and give your body more strength and energy.

What are you going to add in?

6. Sleep

Sleep is crucial to your overall health.  Getting 7-8.5 hours of sleep a night is what most people need. Seriously.

Sometimes menopause can bring on or ramp up sleep problems.

The most important thing to do is set a daily routine where you’re relaxing with no screen time (computers, tablet, phone, tv) for a couple of hours before your bedtime.  Electronic devices emit strong blue light which can prevent the release of melatonin, your sleep hormone.  Try reading a book or having a bath.  It’s also important to have dim lights in your surroundings to reduce your exposure to blue light before bed.  Regular indoor lighting is usually blue light.  Ideally, you would use amber or red lights, or even be ultra-stylin’ with blue-blocker sunglasses.

Well Woman Perimenopause | Natural Hacks To Feel Great Menopause | 7 Hacks to Be Well During Perimenopause

7. Practice Stress Relieving Activities

Do whatever works for you.  Just make sure you do it regularly as a preventative measure to avoid accumulated stress. Stress does lead more problems during this time of change.

Have you tried meditating, deep breathing, or having a warm bath?  What about the newest craze of adult coloring?

Bonus points for using exercise as a form of stress relief.

You now have an arsenal of great ideas to stave off those menopause symptoms naturally.

Go ahead and make two of these mason jar salads to eliminate any excuse for not being able to get fresh veggies when you’re out and about.

Recipe (Veggie): Mason Jar Salad

Serves 2

  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 granny smith apple (diced)
  • 4 radishes (sliced)
  • 2 celery stalks (diced)
  • 4 tablespoons of your favorite nuts or seeds (walnuts, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
  • 4-6 cups of your favorite greens (spinach, kale, mixed greens, etc.)

Add first four ingredients to a small bowl & whisk until smooth.

Add apple to dressing (so it’s covered and won’t brown) and divide between two mason jars.

Layer the radishes, celery, nuts/seeds, and greens on top and seal.

When ready to eat shake up the jar, open and enjoy or pour it into a large bowl to mix more thoroughly.

Tip:  Wide-mouth jars work best for this ah-mazing way to bring veggies with you wherever you go!

Follow on Pinterest for ideas and inspiration on healthy living, midlife, recipes, adrenals, hormones and much more.
Pinterest Header | Inner Savvy Wellness | Healthy Habits and Tips

 

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-natural-menopause-tips/

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause-time-change/what-can-you-do-hot-flashes-and-other-menopausal-symptoms

Well Woman Perimenopause | Natural Hacks To Feel Great Menopause | 7 Hacks to Be Well During Perimenopause

Simple & Effective Way to Fight Colds and Flu Naturally

It is that time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick.  You go out into the public, and you hear sniffling and coughing.  What can you do to fight colds and flu naturally now or any time of the year?

Fight Colds and Flu Naturally | Wet Socks to Bed | Natural Treatment of Colds & Flu

It is important to support your immune system with good, nutritious food, plenty of sleep, and daily exercise every day.  Taking Vitamin D supplement can also help you fight off illnesses.  However, even if you are doing all you can to have a healthy, balanced body, you can still come done with a cold or flu.

What is a Simple Way to Fight Colds and Flu Naturally?

At the first sign of a cold or flu, use the wet sock therapy.

The wet sock therapy is something my family discovered a few years ago and now, even my young adult boys know to do this therapy at the first sign of illness.  Not long ago my college son called home, and I could hear he was stuffy.  I asked if he was sick.  He said he was. Before I could ask, he said, “And yes, I wore my socks to bed.”  Ah, sometimes they do listen.

Even if you do this therapy, continue to use other natural methods of treating colds and flu as well.  Get plenty of rest.  Check out this homeopathy remedy.  Drink good bone broth. Take Vitamin C and echinacea or elderberry syrup

Fight Colds and Flu Naturally | Wet Socks to Bed | Natural Treatment of Colds & Flu

What You Need for Wet Sock Therapy

  • Thin Cotton Socks
  • Thick Wool Socks
  • Water
  • Essential Oils (Optional)

Wet Sock Therapy

  1. Begin by getting your supplies ready by a bathroom sick right before you go to sleep.
  2. Run the thin, cotton socks under water.  Most experts will tell you to use cold water, but I find that any temperature water works. Do what is comfortable to you.
  3. Wring the socks out.  They should be damp.
  4. Sit down. If using an essential oil blend such as frankincense or an immune boosting blend, rub the carrier oil/essential oil on the soles of your feet. This is optional.
  5. Put the damp, cotton socks on.
  6. Pull the thick wool socks on over the thin socks.
  7. Go to bed.
  8. Make sure you don’t get chilled.
  9. Leave the socks on overnight. The socks will be dry in the morning
  10. Continue doing the wet sock therapy every night until your body has fought off the illness.

Why This Treatment Works to Fight Colds and Flu Naturally

When you sleep your body is hard at work detoxing and repairing.  Daytime functions of the body slow down.  One theory is that your blood circulation slows, partly due to sleeping and partly due to being in a horizontal position.  With less circulation, you have less of your immune cells in your circulating to fight off the foreign invaders.

When your feet are damp, this forces your body to continue to circulate the blood at a faster rate to regulate your body temperature.  You will find that not everyone believes this theory.  But whatever the reason, it works for our family.  Even if we aren’t able to stop the cold or flu, the duration seems to be short and the severity less.

Our family decided that it doesn’t hurt anything to do this, so why not.

For the best results, you should do the wet socks treatment at the first sign of illness.  If you wait until the cold or flu has set in, it doesn’t seem to be as effective.

If you are at home during the day, you could even do this therapy during a nap.

This is a great at-home treatment for minor conditions. It should not be used for more critical conditions. If you are the least bit concerned about cold or flu symptoms, give your physician a call.

Have you tried wet socks to bed?  Tell me what you think?  If you haven’t tried it, are you willing to?

This post contains affiliate links.

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Fight Colds and Flu Naturally | Wet Socks to Bed | Natural Treatment of Colds & Flu

What You Know About Healthy Eating is Wrong and Making You Fat and Tired

If you are feeling fat and tired, you may have grown up in the low-fat, eat less, Jane Fonda aerobics mindset.  What was being taught from the 80s through the early 2000s, may be wrong.  Learning a new way of eating healthy, based on science, may help you feel better and fit in your jeans.

Fat and Tired? Everything You Thought You Knew About Healthy Eating May Be Wrong!

Nutrition and diet info is everywhere! Each expert and association try to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you.  Right?

Well, maybe…

Everyone has heard and maybe even been told by their physician that if you are gaining weight, you just need to eat less and exercise more.  This intense focus on how much you eat has gotten way too much attention because while calories do matter and exercise has an effect on health, what you eat and drink as well as how you eat and drink it may be proving to be more important.

Feeling Fat and Tired, It May Be What You Eat? 

The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e.quantity) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important.  Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight, but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we? After all, if you ever filled up by drinking only no-calorie soda pop all day, you may not have consumed any calories, but you probably felt fat and tired as well as bloated and lethargic.

Paying attention to the number of calories (although very hard to really know how much is in something you eat), and the number of carbs and fat you eat is not a bad thing. It just leaves the picture of healthy eating “fuzzy.”

Ideally, you need to eat a variety of minimally processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). I call it a whole foods way of eating. This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness. Eating whole foods can reduce your feeling of being fat and tired.

Fat and Tired? Everything You Thought You Knew About Healthy Eating May Be Wrong!

Every day this is what you should aim for:

  • A colorful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
  • Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads.  Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, enjoy a handful of nuts, and get grass-fed meats when possible.  You don’t need to overdo it here.  Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

How You Eat and Drink 

Do you pay attention to how you eat and drink?

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Have you ever found yourself with an empty plate and really don’t know what you ate?

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savor every bite.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste, and texture.  Breathe. This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

Mindful eating can help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less.  Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

Don’t forget about drinking your food. (Even if you make a smoothie, try to “chew” it and slow down, don’t just gulp it down.)

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!), but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal, not a snack.

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds or a scoop of a quality protein powder. Read: 8 Ingredients to Avoid in Healthy Smoothies

The Takeaway

Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it and you may stop feeling so fat and tired.

Recipe: Chia Peach Green Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • a large handful or two of spinach (or any leafy green)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 banana
  • 1 chopped peach
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 scoop of protein powder

Add ingredients to blender in order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia seeds on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend). Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the non-dairy milk.

Blend, Serve and Enjoy! Remember this is a filling meal with protein, carbs, healthy fat, and fiber.

Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions.  Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference.

Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids but they contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.

What do you think, do calories matter when it comes to losing weight and being healthy?

 

References:
http://summertomato.com/wisdom-wednesday-salad-dressing-is-your-friend
https://authoritynutrition.com/20-reasons-you-are-not-losing-weight/
http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2
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Fat and Tired? Everything You Thought You Knew About Healthy Eating May Be Wrong!

5 Reasons Metabolism Slows Down & Tips to Improve It

Your digestion is sluggish and you feel tired, cold, and you’ve gained weight even though you haven’t been eating more than normal.  You are convinced that your metabolism is slow. You may be right. But why does this happen?  Here are reasons your metabolism slows down?

Reasons Metabolism Slows Down | Hacks to Speed Up Metabolism

Why Metabolism Slows Down?

Metabolism includes all of the biochemical reactions in your body that use nutrients and oxygen to create energy.  And there are lots of factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) it works, i.e. your “metabolic rate” (which is measured in calories).

But don’t worry – we know that metabolic rate is much more complicated than the old adage “calories in calories out”!  In fact, it’s so complicated I’m only going to list a few of the common things that can slow it down.

Examples of common reasons why metabolic rates can slow down:

  • low thyroid hormone
  • your history of dieting
  • your size and body composition
  • your activity level
  • lack of sleep

We’ll briefly touch on each one below and I promise to give you better advice than just to “eat less and exercise more”.

Low Thyroid Hormones

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism.  When it produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  The thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) tell the cells in your body when to use more energy and become more metabolically active.   Ideally, it should work to keep your metabolism just right.  But there are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.  Things like autoimmune diseases and mineral deficiencies (e.g. iodine or selenium) for example.

Tip: Talk to your physician about having your thyroid hormones tested. Don’t just get a TSH number but a complete thyroid panel to really understand what is going on.

Reasons Metabolism Slows Down | Hacks to Speed Up Metabolism | Dieting

Your History of Dieting

When people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down.  This is because the body senses that food may be scarce and adapts by trying to continue with all the necessary life functions and do it all with less food.

While dieting can lead to a reduction in the amount of fat, it, unfortunately, can lead to a reduction in the amount of muscle you have.  As you know more muscle means faster resting metabolic rate.

Tip: Make sure you’re eating enough food to fuel your body without overdoing it. Avoid low-calorie diets which can wreak havoc in your organs, hormones and even thyroid glands.

Your Size and Body Composition

In general, larger people have faster metabolic rates.  This is because it takes more energy to fuel a larger body than a smaller one. However, you already know that gaining weight is rarely the best strategy for increasing your metabolism.

Muscles that actively move and do work need energy.  Even muscles at rest burn more calories than fat.  This means that the amount of energy your body uses depends partly on the amount of lean muscle mass you have.

Tip: Do some weight training to help increase your muscle mass. Body exercises such as pushups, squats, and crunches all can help with muscle mass as well.

Reasons Metabolism Slows Down | Hacks to Speed Up Metabolism | Pushups

Which leads us to…

Your Activity Level

Aerobic exercise temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move and do “work” and you can tell because as you move you feel hotter. High-intensity interval training can improve your metabolic rate in a short period of time while increasing your muscle mass.

Even little things can add up.  Walking a bit farther than you usually do, using a standing desk instead of sitting all day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all contribute to more activity in your day.

Tip:  Incorporate movement into your day, but prioritize regular exercise.

Lack of Sleep

Research shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.  The general consensus is to get 7-8.5 hours of sleep every night.

Tip: Try to create a routine that allows at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

Tip: Selenium is a nutrient that can help your thyroid as well as your sleep.  The recipe below is rich in selenium and may help you when your metabolism slows down.

Recipe: Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Serves 4

  • ½ cup Brazil nuts
  • 2 cups water
  • nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth (optional)
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Blend Brazil nuts in water in a high-speed blender until you get smooth, creamy milk.  If desired, strain it through a nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth.

Add Brazil nut milk and other ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined.  Let sit several minutes (or overnight) until desired thickness is reached.

Serve & Enjoy!

Tip:  Makes a simple, delicious breakfast or dessert topped with berries.

References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/metabolic-damage
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/thyroid-and-testing
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance
https://authoritynutrition.com/6-mistakes-that-slow-metabolism/
https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/
http://summertomato.com/non-exercise-activity-thermogenesis-neat
http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/7-ways-selenium-benefits-your-body/
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Reasons Metabolism Slows Down | Hacks to Speed Up Metabolism

Slower Metabolism During Menopause Can Be Improved

When metabolism slows down you may gain weight.  But what exactly does this mean, and are you doomed to a slower metabolism during menopause?

Slower Metabolism During Menopause | What is Metabolism | Women's Health

Technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body.  It is how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do. Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive. Without this amazing biochemistry process, you couldn’t possibly continue to exist.

Metabolism Includes How the Cells in Your Body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.

Metabolic Rate

Metabolic rate is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions of for normal body functioning).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate.  One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What Affects Your Metabolic Rate?

In a nutshell: a lot!

Metabolic Rate Influencers | Metabolism Response | You can affect your metabolism

Metabolic Rate Influencers | Metabolism Response | You can affect your metabolism

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid.  This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.

But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

Your size also counts too!

Larger people have higher metabolic rates, but your body composition is crucial!

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be.  Even when you’re not working out. Unfortunately lean muscle mass has a tendency to decrease as you age.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended in midlife. You want muscles to be burning those calories for you.

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen.  You definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Movement, in which you get your heart rate up, also temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing “work”. However, when you do aerobic activity, you also tend to feel hungrier afterward and eat more; therefore overcompensating for increased metabolic rate.

Exercising for long periods of time or at a strenuous level puts stress on your body. Stress that your body could handle when you were younger, now causes too much cortisol. That can show up in more belly fat.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF). You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently. Fats, for example, increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

High sugar, nutrient depleted foods have an effect on your insulin.  When your blood sugar is in a roller coaster pattern, your insulin levels tend to increase.  Higher insulin, especially combined with higher cortisol levels encourages your body to store fat in the belly as a protective mechanism. Controlling your blood sugar is important, yet harder to do as you age.

And don’t forget the mind-body connection.  There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate. Not getting enough sleep puts stress on your brain and body functions.  Again, these can cause your body to store body fat in the stomach area.

Slower Metabolism During Menopause Can Be Stopped

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

Learning how to create habits for healthy living, even during perimenopause and into menopause, can help you break the slow down of your metabolism and allow you to keep that belly fat off. Simple changes to the food you eat, how you exercise, how much you sleep, and how you take care of yourself need to be different from when you were 20 or even 30.

Schedule a 20-minute phone conversation with me today. I can help you feel your best during this time of transition of your body and halt the slower metabolism during menopause with the use of labs and lifestyle changes.

Recipe: Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 chicken breasts (Free-range, local), can use thighs. Skin or no skin to your taste
  • dash salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive old

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F.  Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish.  Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.

Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper.  Place remaining lemon, herbs, and garlic on top of the chicken.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cover with a lid or foil.

Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!

Slower Metabolism During Menopause | What is Metabolism | Women's Health

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism

https://www.metaboliceffect.com/menopause-weight-gain/

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The Wednesday Showcase

4 Secrets to Stop Overeating at Meals and Lose Weight

Overeating at meals can be subconscious.  You get used to eating a certain amount of food.  You fill your plate, and you eat. What once made you uncomfortably full, now is normal.   Learn these secrets to help you eat less during your meals. without stressing over it. If you are eating nourishing, whole foods, you will start to see the number on the scale drop.

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less

As you know, eating whole foods, that are nutritious for your body is critical to having a balanced healthy body.  However, even when you overeat a healthy meal, it can leave you feeling uncomfortable, bloated, and even gain weight.  Once you have started eating meals that are filled with healthy macronutrients of protein, carbs, and healthy fats, you may want to stop overeating at meals to feel sexy in your jeans.

4 Secrets to Stop Overeating at Meals 

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

Tip #1: Start with some water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate and dive into the food.

Did you know that it’s possible to confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?  Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast. Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten.  This super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less | Water

Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the main meal, leaving less room for the feast, but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.

Extra Tip: drink your water 20-30 minutes before you sit down to eat, so you don’t dilute your stomach acid.

Win-win!

Tip #2: Smaller Plates

The size of plates has slowly crept larger and larger over the last couple of decades.  Try purchasing new plates.  Recently I have seen plates 12″ and even saw a 14″ plate. I thought it was a platter, but it was considered a dinner plate.

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less | Size of Plates

When you serve yourself food, you will automatically put less food on a smaller plate.  Plus your mind, when it sees a full plate, tells you that you ate more than you realize.  When there is the same amount of food on a larger plate, you think you eat less and feel less full, so you want to keep eating.

It took me a while to find 8″ plates.  They are considered salad plates, but they really are a great size for a satisfying meal.  I challenge you to find a 8 or 9-inch plate and see if it makes a difference.

Tip #3: Try eating “mindfully”

You’ve heard of mindfulness, but have you applied that to your eating habits? This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.

Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment, being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.

Do this by pausing before you begin to eat (even saying a prayer of thanks) taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savoring every mouthful.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste, and texture.  Breathe.

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less | Mindful

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. Take your time, pay attention to your food, and enjoy every bite.

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen) and put your fork down between bites.

Tip #4: Start with the salad

You may be yearning for that main dish. But don’t start there. (Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).

Leafy greens with other vegetables are a great way to start any meal because they are full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals, but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”. Have you ever known anyone to overeat spinach, broccoli or even carrots?

These secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge and want to stop overeating at meals.

Secrets to Stop Overeating at Meals | Water | Salad | Small Plates | Mindful Eating

Summary to Avoid Overeating At Meals:

Have your glass of water, use a small plate, eat mindfully, and start with your salad and vegetables to help avoid overeating at meals. (Yes, you can eat vegetables for breakfast, too.)

Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas

If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • Slices of lemon & ginger
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple & mango
  • Blueberries & raspberries

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning.  They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.

I love to keep ideas for infusing water with nutritious and tasty fruit and vegetables.  Follow my Water Pinterest Board for more ideas to shake up plain water without adding chemicals or sugar.

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/

http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/JACR/Small_Plates_Lose_Weight

summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

 

Linking up to:
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Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural
This is HOw We Roll
Monday Mish Mesh
The Wednesday Showcase
Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less

5 Strategies to Re-energize New Year’s Resolutions

It’s just been over a week since the new year came in with all the promise and glitter every new year does.  You made resolutions. This year is going to be different; you will achieve your new year’s resolutions. Those first few days you were motivated to make a difference in your life, but now, life is getting in the way of your dreams and goals.

Achieve New Year's Resolution | Re-evaluate Goals | 5 Rs to Achieve Your Goals

The good news is you aren’t the only one.  Approximately 25% of those who made new year’s resolutions have already let them slip. Change is not easy.  It can be near impossible, or so it seems.

What can you do to make sure you don’t let your mojo slip, and you give up those resolutions? Take a few minutes to use these strategies to get re-energized to achieve your new year’s resolutions.

Energize Your Body Mind & Spirit | Quote | Take Care of Yourself Inspiration

5 “Rs” to Re-Energize to Achieve New Year’s Resolutions

1. Remember

Take a few minutes to remember why you made your resolutions.  Did you write them down?  If so, why was it important to create these resolutions.  Once you remember the why, ask yourself why again.  Keep asking yourself why 3-5 times.
For example. New Year’s Resolution: Lose Weight
Why? To fit in my jeans.
Why? So I feel better when I go out.
Why? So I have confidence.
Why? Then I won’t feel like I am being judged.

Keep the list in a place you can look at them weekly. Your why is one of the keys to staying on the road to success.

2. Rejoice

What have you done in the last few days to achieve your resolutions?  Did you go for a walk 3 times last week?  Did you eat one vegetable at every meal?  Whatever it was, celebrate.  You need to let your brain know you are making progress by celebrating even if there is no physical change. Your brain needs rewards of celebration to believe what it is doing is working.

3. Re-evaluate

Is there something on your list that you thought you should do, but just isn’t motivating or working? Change it slightly or get rid of it all together.  Don’t let one resolution affect the way you move toward change. Fix what isn’t working and move forward.  It is small, consistent steps that will get your where you want to go.

Commitment Matters | Quote | Inspirational Words for Success | Lack of Commitment

4. Reinforce

Does it feel like you are fighting an uphill battle? Get reinforcements.  Find a friend and ask her to help you stay motivated.  Join a Facebook Group for support.  Talk to a health coach to see if that is what you need.  Sometimes having someone listen, strategize and push you a little can make all the difference in your motivation toward your resolutions.

5. Re-motivate

Set a timer and go on Pinterest for 15 minutes.  Search by the resolution you made. There will be a surplus of motivation, so set your timer.  Find one or two articles to read to get your mojo back by mixing it up a little, trying something different or at a different time, or adding something fun to your rewards for achieving a step toward your resolutions.  Just don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  You are on your own journey. No journey is a straight line up. There are many ups and downs.  Celebrate that your journey is still moving forward.

Join Savvy Circle a group of women who are making 2017 about healthy living.  Here are the current daily themes: Challenge Monday, Conversation Tuesday, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday (healthy recipe every week), Fit Tip Thursday, Weekend Warrior Friday and Prayer Sunday.

Re-Energize Your Goals | Achieve Success | Accomplish Dreams
Commitment Matters | Quote | Inspirational Words for Success | Lack of Commitment
Energize Your Body Mind & Spirit | Quote | Take Care of Yourself Inspiration
Resolution Motivation | Re-evaluate Goals | 5 Rs to Motivation

New Year’s Resolutions – Goal Quotes and 17 Resources for a Healthy New Year

When setting New Year’s resolutions think about living a healthy lifestyle consisting of creating healthy habits in 5 areas: Food, Sleep, Movement, Self-care and Faith.

New Year's Resolutions | Healthy Lifestyle | Healthy Habits

When you think about living a healthy life, what do you think about first?

There are 5 areas to focus on when you want to have all-around health: Food, rest, movement, self-care and faith (spiritual life).

As you prepare your New Year’s resolutions here are some quotes to help motivate you.

Motivational and Inspiring Quotes to Help you with your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions | Health Quote | Inspirational Words | 2017 Fantastic Year

Good Health Habits | Inspirational Words | Health Quote

Resolutions | Inspirational Words | Quote | Motivation

Good Habits | Inspirational Words | Habit Quote

Goal Setting | Inspirational Words | Quote

Power of Habits | Inspirational Words | Quote

17 Resources to Achieve Your Health Resolutions

1 Download a 2017 Monthly Goals Worksheet

Goals Worksheet Download | Free Worksheet | Achieve Your Health Goals

2. 7 Steps for Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It at Lifehack

3. Health Goals Printers and Planners Pinterest Board

4. Good Excuse Worksheet at Wanabfitnow

5. New Year’s Resolution Ideas

6. Easy Diet Changes to Start in 2017 at My Soulful Home

7. 5 Unique and Healthy Resolutions for 2017 at HerbalPapaya

8. 20 Inspiring Healthy Living Mantras

Mantras | Affirmations | Healthy Living | Free Printable | Health |

9. 20 Affirmations for 2017 at Flaunt Ya Faith 

10. 8 Health Resolutions to Set for 2017 at Womanitely

11. 12 Months to a Better You

12. How to Increase Your Willpower

13. The Importance of Weekly Goal Setting at Day to Day Do

14. Letting Go of Shoulds this New Year

15. The Power of Habit

16. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Healthier This Year at Choosing Real

17. 7 Days to Healthy Habits Challenge

Health Resolutions | Healthy Habits | 7 Day Challenge | Develop Healthy Habits

What is stopping you from having your finest year yet? Comment Below

New Years Resolution Quotes | Inspirational Words | Motivation
New Year's Resolutions | Health Quote | Inspirational Words | 2017 Fantastic Year
Live a Healthy Lifestyle | Healthy Habits