It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.
Stress can kill you, but in an older women stress is far more likely to drive her to comfort eating and hence pile on the pounds. For most women less stress, or better stress management, is the key to sustainable weight loss. Of course, for older women the menopause doesn’t help with controlling your weight at all. There is evidence that there are changes in the brain chemistry of a menopausal woman that triggers a shift in her metabolism, causing her to overeat.
Looking for comfort food; cakes, chocolate, pizza, bread, burritos, donuts, (or drinking too much), is a common occurrence among woman of a certain age ~ of any age when stressed if it comes right down to it. These high calorie foods and booze do pile on the pounds ~ particularly unsightly belly fat. It’s all to do with insulin, and this energy dense stuff spikes your insulin levels, which only makes you want to eat more.
The environment doesn’t help much, there are countless fast food outlets, supermarkets promote more expensive energy dense foods, and there’s a bar on just about every street corner. Rule #1 is stay away from fast food places, and rule #2 is that a woman on her own should never, ever go into a bar.
Associating unhealthy food and booze with good times is something your brain will program into itself, and rule #3 is that you must work hard to break that programming. Eating unhealthy food and drinking too much booze doesn’t mean you are cool, in fact quite the opposite ~ you are perhaps pushing being an unattractive lazy person.
The really important thing for women to learn, accept, and practice is how to manage stress. And usually it comes down to:
- Delegate More. Stop letting your family and friends push you into doing everything for everyone.
- Be Creative. People with a creative interest are much less stressed that those who don’t have that worry-free time. Why do you think art therapy is such a big thing in rehab?
- Take a Walk. Walking is bloody good for you; physically, mentally, and spiritually. Aim for 10,000 steps a day.
- Talk to People. And don’t go into a bar to find someone to talk with.
Some say that the change made them overeat. And, that their happy place is the refrigerator. All I know is that fat people often get very sick.
regularly eat healthy and nutritious food
The more you eat, the less flavour. The less you eat, the more flavour.
There are literally thousands of diets out there, from the 5:2 diet, the Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, the Sushi diet, and even the simple calorie controlled diet. These diets can get quite complicated and the professional aficionados would love us to buy their books explaining the benefits of these diets and giving us lots of recipes that we’re probably never going to cook. As it happens I try to follow the tenants of a Mediterranean diet, simply because I like Mediterranean food. Conversely I would never follow a Sushi diet because I hate sushi and I firmly believe that raw fish is inherently unhealthy, to the point of being dangerous.
There is one basic truth about losing weight ~ eat less. The average female office worker only needs about 2,000 calories a day, and the average male about 2,500. A weight loss diet probably means a woman eating 1,500 calories a day, and a man about 2,000. There are a myriad of calorie calculators on the internet.
However, after some study of diets, nutrition, and health, I can give you some basic guidelines about what you should include and avoid in all those calories.
- Drink 3 pints of fresh clean water every day.
- Eating a little every couple of hours avoids and cures adrenal fatigue.
- Wild foods are good ~ especially healthy grains such as wild rice. Eat organic food whenever you can.
- Try not to eat processed and canned foods.
- Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is vital to our health. Apples, Banana, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Celery, Grapes, Leeks, Pears, Potato (especially potato skins), Spinach, & etc.. Avoid too much citrus fruit, it messes with the acid balance of our gut.
- Adding herbs and spices adds important phytochemicals to our food. Fresh parsley, basil, and rosemary are especially good.
- Eat grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, lamb, wild salmon, net caught ocean fish, shrimp, crab, and lobster. Avoid too much pork, (and if you eat pork make damn certain it’s properly cooked). Avoid farmed fish, (especially tilapia which is cheap whitefish), cheap chicken, bacon, and turkey. Eat shellfish at your peril.
- Don’t drink a lot of fresh milk, don’t put cream or half-and-half in your coffee, and don’t eat a lot of yogurt or cheese.
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements; B4, B12, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, (and if you are a menstruating woman take Iron supplements).
- Do not ever eat anything made with modern wheat; bread, cake, cookies, pasta, tortillas…..
- Avoid too much; complex carbohydrates, caffeine, sugar, and salt.
- Don’t drink too much coffee or ordinary tea, try green tea instead.
- Don’t drink diet sodas, or use artificial sweeteners. In fact really cut down on drinking any soda at all.
- Really, really avoid too much alcohol. One bottle of red wine a week is a good limit, (or if you can’t live with that, two bottles a week). Do not regularly get buzzed, and regularly would be once a month.
You may think that’s all too damn difficult, and probably expensive. Well, it takes effort to follow any guidelines, and good organic food carries a price premium, but really, how much is a healthier and longer life worth to you?
A dog, a wife, and a walnut tree, they more you beat them the better they be.
It looks like a simple change to our diet, like eating a few walnuts a day, boosts our health in some amazing ways.
I’ve long thought that eating nuts was a good idea, and now some scientists at the Louisiana State University agree with me. After some experiments they say that eating a couple of ounces of walnuts a day improves your digestive health. Seems it’s all to do with prebiotics again, and that walnuts have their beneficial effects by nourishing the friendly bacteria in our gut, helping them to thrive and multiply.
These good bacteria have anti-inflammatory properties, and chronic inflammation is now thought to be central to the onset of arthritis, various cancers including prostate and breast cancer, depression, early aging, various heart / circulatory diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
It’s better to get the nutrients for healthy skin from food, not supplements. Salmon, walnuts, blueberries, spinach… lots of my favorite foods happen to be amazing for skin too. ~ Gail Simmons
Scientists and nutritionists say that the health of our digestive tract is central to the health of our whole body. Walnuts act as a prebiotic, meaning that eating these nuts helps keep our digestive system healthy.
Gut health is an emerging research area, but we are seeing greater bacterial diversity may be associated with better health outcomes, whereas low diversity has been linked to conditions such as obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. ~ Professor Lauri Byerley.
Walnuts and hazelnuts are just about the oldest tree foods known to man; their importance going at least at far back as 7,000 BC. Walnuts in particular;
- Help with weight loss.
- Improve good sleep if eaten late at night~ walnuts contain lots of melatonin.
- Are good for your hair, in fact eating walnuts may help prevent hair loss.
- Are very good for your heart and circulation.
- Help to lower your bad cholesterol.
- Help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Makes your skin healthier.
- Can keep senile dementia at bay.
- Help to prevent various cancers, especially breast and pancreatic cancers.
- Will help you to live a longer, healthier, and less stressful life.
Personally, I firmly believe that eating almost any type of nuts and seeds is a beneficial addition to one’s diet, but walnuts may be better than most as they are the only nut that contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acid. And, as we already know, omega-3 fatty acids are good for us. Walnuts also have a lot of protein, fibre, phytochemicals, and antioxidants in them.
Walnuts are a tree nut, along with Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts and pistachios ~ each of these has it’s own nutritional properties, (I can’t abide macadamia nuts and I hate pecan pie).
Walnuts have the vitally important amino acid l-arginine, which give loads of benefits to people with heart diseases, or who may become prone to suffering from heart and circulatory problems.
These almost magical nuts also contain neuroprotective compounds, such as vitamin E, folate, and melatonin. Research shows that eating a half a cup of walnuts a day may stave off senile dementia.
Allegedly, walnuts also make men more sexually potent, and are good for pregnant women…..
There is one nut which is not generally thought to be quite so healthy; peanuts. These are legumes anyhow, and basically legumes are either peas or cattle food. The main reason that early farmers grew legumes is that they improve the soil, and not because they’re good to eat.
Nevertheless, there are health benefits to be found from the humble peanut; they’re full of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals, the anti-aging molecule resveratrol, and phytosterols that help reduce bad cholesterol.
Nuts and seeds are a far better snack than the other disgusting crap many people munch on, especially late at night. So don’t snack on potato chips, crackers, popcorn, blue cheese, ice cream, doughnuts, pretzels, candy, chocolate, cookies, cake, s’mores… have some walnuts instead, or almonds, or hazelnuts, (or any nuts and seeds).
The good news is, that glass of red wine you like late at night is good for you too.
always buy organic walnuts
I wanted to be healthier, fitter, and look better, (or at least look as well as I could). Turns out I developed a sustainable plan for eating, exercise, and good health.
It all started on June 9th, when I came to the conclusion that I really, really, needed to give up coffee for a month Too much coffee was turning me into a mad dog. I’ve only had coffee on 2 days since then, and for me, coffee is now a drink only for after a special meal, with a special friend.
As I felt much better not drinking coffee I also resolved to cut all the junk out of my diet. This is easier said than done ~ most of the stuff we eat is full of salt, sugar, additives, colourings, and sundry crap. After a while I decided that I just had to stop eating a lot of processed, packaged, pre-prepared food. For me, there is also the big issue of Abstinence versus Control.
Then I wanted a couple of other things; to get a decent sun tan, and get some exercise. Ha! I could do both by going for long walks on the beach, in the sunshine.
So, 6 weeks ago I came up with this plan.
- Take a long walk every day it wasn’t raining. Walking is good for you. I bought a pedometer, and my long walk turned into 10 miles every day, which takes me about three-and-a-half hours. I also found I could do some upper-body isometric exercise while I was walking in the sunshine. Sun tan and exercise!
- No alcohol whatsoever. I am not supposed to drink anyway, and if you want to look as good as you can, then you need to give up booze, (and I mean completely), for 6 weeks. In fact you should stop drinking beer for the rest of your life.
- No wheat whatsoever. This includes wheat products like bread, cakes, noodles, pasta, and beer… Modern wheat is full of nasty stuff, piles on fat around your stomach, and will eventually harm your insides. Everybody should probably stop eating wheat.
- Take as little sugar as possible. This means cutting out all those canned, packaged, processed foods. Stop drinking soda completely. Quitting coffee and switching to green tea helps too. Not eating wheat products also cuts out a lot of sugar. Too much refined sugar will kill you anyway.
- Eat only healthy meals prepared at home. Unless you’ve bought the produce and cooked / prepared the meal yourself, you have no idea what you are eating. In any event, eating out is too likely to lead one down the road of overeating and booze. There are hundreds of quick and easy menus ~ hell just read my Food on Friday blog if you run out of ideas.
- No snacks, no grazing, no eating between meals, over large meals, cookies with coffee… And, do not have more than 3 meals in a day. In fact, do no have more than a light breakfast, light lunch, and reasonable evening meal in each day.
This eating plan is going to be a big problem for some people, it certainly was for me. I am one of those people who can give up stuff easily, but I can’t control how much stuff I want once I’ve started. Like most of us, once I start eating I want to eat more.
My solution was daily intermittent fasting, eating only 1 meal a day, my evening meal.
You will be surprised to know that I found this programme very easy to follow.
And when I checked my wight yesterday I found I had hit my target of 150 pounds, which means I have shed 3 pounds of flab, every week for 6 weeks. Add it up.
There is reality in the illusion of a tough journey to physical fitness.
A friend said to me that she does not do New Year Resolutions. Neither do I. Each and every single day I work to be just a bit better than I was yesterday. However, I know I have been spending too much time on mental and spiritual fitness, and not enough effort on my physical fitness. Therefore, starting right now I am on a new diet, exercise regime, a better way of living…
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. ~ John F. Kennedy
Booze, No alcohol whatsoever, and sobriety is not as easy as you may think. Instead drink water, lots of water, some with lemon juice and some with apple cider vinegar, some as coffee and some as green tea. Doctors say that we should be drinking about 4 pints of fluid a day, (is that Imperial or US pints?).
Carbohydrates are bad for me. Cut out refined carbohydrates. While it’s going to be difficult to avoid all carbohydrates, I am utterly determined to reduce refined carbohydrate to a minimum. And, do you know what? Here in England not eating wheat, being gluten free, cutting carbohydrates, is becoming commonplace for healthier women and men.
Coffee. On the other hand, I am not giving up coffee ~ (black), coffee is good for you, (probably). Nor am I giving up butter, olive oil, or red meat. I am adding more of the so-called superfoods; lemon, green tea, avocado, walnuts, apples, shallots, broccoli, cabbage and garlic to my diet In my spice rack, cumin, turmeric, paprika, thyme, sage and ginger, (curries are back on my menu) .
Calories. Reduce my calorie intake to some 2,200 a day. I’m about 7 pounds overweight for my height and build. The caffeine in the coffee I am going to continue to drink will help the weight loss thing.
Sleep. Get more sleep, my body is telling me that I should be getting 7 or 8 hours restful sleep every night. Most medical studies say the same thing. Currently, I’m only sleeping for 5 or so hours, less than that on a bad night.
Exercise. Walk don’t run. Do more Stair Laps. There are 56 steps between the lobby and my garret. Currently I am walking up and down these in sets of 5 at a time ~ I want to work up to 5 x 5 a day, which works out at 1400 steps ~ add in my normal trips to the ground floor and that’s a climb of just about 1,000 feet a day. Not a bad cardiovascular workout.
Definitely looking overweight in this picture.