Have a healthy, pain-free life!
Welcome to the HLW Newsletter which provides accurate facts to enhance your knowledge. Enjoy the Recipe and Wellbeing Tips of the Month and see Upcoming Events. Send your questions about pain, nutrition, exercise, or research. I exist to help you Have LifeLong WellBeing!
This month I want to share with you the Fountain of Youth! Yes, there is such a thing and it is possible to achieve! If you have taken my Nourish Your Body Classes you learned that you can “turn back the clock” by thirty years!!! Take a look at this study done with male subjects at the age of 20 and then again, thirty years later, at the age of 50. You will be amazed at what was observed just by changing their physical activity.
20 year old men were given 3 weeks of bed rest to see how it would affect their aerobic capacity back in 1966. Thirty years later these same men, now 50 years old, were tested again. They were given an exercise program to follow for six months and then tested again. The exercise program was moderate and consisted of one hour of walking, jogging, or stationary bicycling 4-5 days per week. What was seen was quite staggering! Prior to the exercise, over 30 years, their weight had increased by an average of 25%, their body fat % had doubled, and their aerobic capacity had declined by ~11%. It is important to note here that 30 years of aging had done less damage to aerobic capacity than 3 weeks of bed rest did when they were 20 years old; however, the six weeks of exercise reversed the effects of aging and increased their aerobic capacity by 15%!
I don’t know about you, but I want to do all I can to maintain my health and delay going below ground as long as possible with good quality of life. If moderate exercise is shown to reverse the effects of aging I am all in! Let’s talk about the other ways exercise can reverse aging.
Have you ever heard of sarcopenia? That is when muscle mass actually begins to decrease at a rate of about 1% per year while body fat mass increases. This gradual loss is linked directly to lack of exercise. Here is a picture of what your thigh looks like when you keep working or when you stop moving. The picture on the right is more fat than muscle and will increase your risk of falling due to decreased stability, as well as make it more challenging to walk up and down stairs, etc. The picture on the left is what you want, more muscle than fat. This will keep you functional physically well into your nineties and beyond. A study done involving people with chronic kidney disease showed those who performed strength training increased muscle fiber by 32% and strength by 30% in just 12 weeks! Those who did not exercise lost 9 pounds of muscle!
Ok, hopefully I’ve convinced you to keep exercising, no matter your age or to get moving if you haven’t been exercising for a while. It is never too late to increase muscle mass. Your body was designed to respond well to exercise, no matter your age.
The most important thing is to do it wisely. You need aerobic movement, at least 2-3 times per week for at least 30-45 minutes. Walking, jogging, and bicycling are all great ways to do this. If you choose walking you need to be walking with purpose. A leisurely stroll is wonderful for stress but not an aerobic activity. You must work hard enough to have trouble singing (I can’t sing, but I’m not talking about talent here), yet still be able to talk. A long conversation would be uncomfortable, but talking is still possible. That is effective aerobic work that will help reverse (or delay as long as possible) the effects of aging in your body.
It is also important to perform weight bearing exercises 2-3 times per week to maintain muscle mass and prevent (or reverse) sarcopenia. You don’t need a fancy gym membership but it would be wise to seek guidance if you don’t have a clue where to start. Your own bodyweight can be enough when performing things like squats, lunges, or push-ups. There is also something called Core Chain Reaction that would provide you with the knowledge to perform weight bearing exercises in all 3 planes of motion AND resolve pain at the same time. Take a class and learn how it works for your specific issues. You will get two bangs for your buck; good muscle mass into old age AND regain pain-free movement!
Other benefits of exercise are that it:
• Increases metabolic rate (burn more calories at rest!)
• Improves digestion/energy/sleep/cholesterol levels
• Strengthens bones
• Reduces depression
• Lowers blood pressure
• Increases endurance/stamina
• Improves mental alertness
• Increases flexibility
• Improves self-esteem & positive attitude
• Has a major positive effect on your immune system
If you don’t know where to start, call me and I will ensure your success. It’s what I love to do! 518-496-1265.
You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!
HLW Recipe of the Month: Pumpkin Pudding w/Vanilla Bean Coconut Whipped Topping
Holiday excerpt from Dr. John McDougall. “This time of year, the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays frighten many people who eat a healthy diet. They wonder how to socialize with friends and how to prepare a meal in their home. These two days are supposed to be the largest feasts of the year. Yet in fact, both dinners are the healthiest, most vegetarian-like, most McDougall-like meals people eat all year long. Traditionally, these holiday dinners consist of mashed white potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, a bread stuffing, butternut and acorn squash, cranberries, and a variety of green vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, and green beans. For dessert, pumpkin pie ends the feast. That's a cornucopia of starches and vegetables. The turkey served is the leanest of all common meats. The truth is that every other dinner consumed by Westerners all year long is far richer in fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar than is eaten at these two traditional festivals. Therefore, if you are a healthy eater you will find Thanksgiving and Christmas the two most comfortable times of the year to socialize with all of your family and friends.”
Pumpkin Pudding makes about 3 cups
1 lb silken tofu (I used one pack of Nasoya silken tofu)
1/2 tsp salt (I used a pink salt)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin, unsweetened
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on low -> high until smooth and creamy. The mixture will be watery at this point, but placing it back in the fridge or freezer will firm it up a bit. For quick chilling: pour pudding into tiny serving cups and place in the freezer for 15 minutes - then move to fridge until ready to serve.
Vanilla Bean Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk
- 2-3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- pinch of vanilla bean specks (optional)
Place can in the fridge overnight. Open the can without shaking it or turning upside down and carefully spoon out the top layer of opaque white stuff that has gathered at the top of the can. Spoon into a mixing bowl. You will be left with about 1/2 cup of white syrup-y looking translucent liquid. Leave this in the can. Note: I use this leftover liquid in numerous coconut-y recipes. Plus, it makes a great coconut syrup - almost like a hydrated extract of coconut flavor. Add powdered confectioners’ sugar to the white stuff. Optional: add cinnamon, vanilla bean - any small amount of flavor you'd like. Use a hand beater (simple mixers work just as well as expensive ones) and whip the coconut milk froth until creamy. Start on low and move to a higher speed, move the beater in an up and down motion to infuse the mixture with as much air as possible.
HLW Tip of the Month: Self-Care!
Do you struggle with taking care of yourself? Do you put yourself last on the list of priorities? Or are you not even on the list!? I know firsthand how hard it can be to ensure your physical and emotional needs are being met regularly. I also know firsthand how being out of balance in this issue can create physical ailments and negative emotions. You may be surprised to learn that I attended a class on Anger Management years ago. I will share with you the most important thing I learned in that class. I learned that I was struggling with anger because my basic human needs were not being met. I was not getting enough sleep, enough exercise, or enough time to do things I enjoyed (reading, playing piano, painting, knitting, learning new things). When I understood this concept I made changes that involved making sure my basic human needs were not ignored for weeks at a time.
This is not about putting yourself above others, it is about ensuring your basic human needs are met so you will be able to care well for others.
Basic physiological human needs include: whole foods, water, and sleep. If you are lacking in any of these areas you will be unable to move forward in other areas like strong relationships, achievement of goals, or healthy self-esteem. The consequences of not meeting your basic human needs can be quite severe. Your physical health will suffer, personal relationships may suffer, and you could battle anger, anxiety, and depression. You may develop resentment regarding those you care most about. That is not a good thing!
On the flip side; balancing self-care with your responsibilities will help you achieve improved health, more intimate relationships, and you will feel better about yourself. I know there are many of you right now wondering how on earth you can take care of yourself properly and still get done all that needs to get done. I will share some of the things I did to improve self-care.
I learned that my health is more important than:
• a clean bathroom
• crossing off EVERY item on my to-do list
• involving my children in every extracurricular activity that they ask to join
• saying yes when I really want to say “No.”
Figure out what is keeping you from being able to meet your basic human needs and then take steps to address the issue. Let me know if I can help. I have been there, done that.
Ensure self-care to Have LifeLong WellBeing!