Diet Plan for Menopause-Phytoestrogens

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You have arrived! You have worked hard building a career, taking care of your home and family and building relationships with friends. Now it’s time to start focusing on you. There are so many things you want to do….and then IT starts. Insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, aching joints, mood swings, forgetfulness, weight gain, anxiety, vaginal dryness, sagging libido  AARGH!! All the things you have done in the past to maintain your weight, your mood and your energy levels aren’t working anymore. The menopause monster has sneaked up behind you and pulled the rug out from under you. Your hormones (or lack of them) are taking control.  But you can take back that control.

OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: Serious menopause symptoms, such as extreme anxiety, depression and mood swings should mean a consult with a doctor. END OF DISCLAIMER In my 30 years experience as a health and PE teacher, and more recently, a certified personal trainer I know that many adverse physical symptoms we experience can be improved with the proper diet.  But what is the proper diet, now that the game has changed???

I’ll be chatting about that in depth over the next few weeks. I can’t give you a meal plan. You’ll need a registered dietitian for that.  I’ll give you some guidelines to follow to steer you in the right direction.

One important thing you want to increase in your diet is phytoestrogens.  Most of you are thinking, “What the h%&* are those?  There is no way I can find them in the grocery store!” Phytoestrogens are just a fancy way to say plant based estrogens.  They are important to you now because your body is producing way less estrogen than it used to. You need a way to balance this lack of estrogen out at the cellular level. So what foods contain plant based estrogens?

Fruits and vegetables and whole grains should be a main staple of your diet. Here’s why: Your lower estrogen levels are slowing down your production of lean muscle. Lean muscle requires more fuel to operate than the same amount of body fat. Less muscle means a slower metabolism, which equals weight gain. Estrogen also acts as an appetite suppressant, so even though you need less calories to get through your day, you are hungry for more.

Other benefits of fruits and vegetables: 

  • Fiber– this keeps you feeling full longer and ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????aids in proper digestive health
  • Folic Acid-lowers risk for cardiovascular disease, which goes up after menopause
  • Antioxidants-reduces hot flashes
  • Vitamin C-boosts your immune system
  • High water content-Keeps your skin and mucous membranes hydrated
  • Natural sugar-helps avoid the insulin spikes and crashes associated with processed sugar (which causes fatigue and over eating)

A 53 year old woman weighing 130 lbs. needs 2 cups of veggies a day and 1 1/2 cups of fruit to maintain her weight. (Be honest, how many of you are eating that much right now?) Fresh are best, followed by frozen, then canned.  Fresh retain the most nutrients. To find out how much fruits and veggies you need, go to choosemyplate.gov

Other benefits of whole grains:????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • B vitamins-boosts energy
  • Fiber-digestive health
  • Complex carbohydrates-keeps you full longer and helps avoid those nasty insulin spikes and crashes
  • Folic acid-lowers cardiovascular disease risk

A 53 year old woman weighing 130 lbs, needs 5 oz. of whole grains per day to maintain weight.

What counts as whole grains? 

  • 100% whole grain bread, flour or pasta
  • Stone ground whole grains
  • brown rice
  • oatmeal

Take back control from the menopause monster, head to the grocery store and load up on phytoestrogens! Get cooking and let me know how you feel.

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21 Day Fix Fiesta Chicken

This recipe came into being after I made some 21 day fix enchiladas. There were some ingredients left over and I used them to make this one. It made a delicious, filling lunch. You will need:

1/2 green container of canned corn
1/2 green container of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red container of cubed, cooked chicken breast (I used chicken I had pre-cooked, but the pre-cooked, pre packeged chicken strips would work well too)
1 tsp non fat, unsweetened Greek yogurt
1 orange container of salsa

1. Mix the cooked chicken and the yogurt
2. Spread the container of corn and beans on a plate
3. Top the corn and beans with the chicken mixture
4. Drizzle with salsa
5. Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds and enjoy

If you make it, let me know how you like it.

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21 Day Fix Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry


I’m done with my three weeks of 21 Day Portion Fix. I’m now on maintenance. So far, I’ve lost five pounds and my hubby has lost seven. He’s not even really a fixer. He just counts his calories and eats what I cook for him in the evening. So I think we will keep going. Because if it’s not broken, don’t fix it! Yikes, that was a really bad pun.

Here’s a recipe I came up with myself. I love stir fry and this is all “fixed” up to be a healthy meal for two (there I go with the bad puns again, sorry). if you are a fixer, this is worth:

1 red, 1 orange, 1 1/2 green, 1 yellow

You will need:


1.  Cut the beef into bite size pieces
2. Stir the soy sauce and coconut oil together in a medium bowl
3. Add the beef to the soy mixture and marinate. I marinated for about 30 minutes.
4. Rinse frozen broccoli in colander with warm water
5. Mix rice and water in microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave according to package directions
6. Stir fry beef on medium high heat until no longer red
7. Add broccoli and stir fry until heated through
8. Add brown rice and stir fry briefly until mixed
9. Season to taste with onion powder and garlic powder and serve

 

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

New 21 Day Fix Recipe: Blueberry Banana Pancakes

I had a little time on Sunday morning to experiment with my pancake recipe. I wanted to try a blueberry pancake. Here’s what I came up with. They were tasty and filling. They got me through to a late lunch.

If you are a fixer, this recipe has 1 protein (red), 1 carb (yellow), and 1 fruit (purple) 1 tsp. (butter)

 2 eggs
1/2 yellow container of oatmeal and 1/2 yellow container Bisquik (This equals 1/3 cup)
1/2 banana
1/2 purple container of blueberries divided
1 teaspoon butter

Crack two eggs and put them in a blender. Blend them until smooth.
Add 1/2 banana and 1/2 of the blueberries. Blend well. Keep the other 1/2 blueberries.
Add the yellow container of Bisquik and oatmeal. Blend well.
Heat electric skillet to 300 degrees
Pour two pancakes into skillet
Cook until pancakes begin to bubble around the edges
Flip and cook on the other side
Top and serve with the remaining blueberries on top

Try them and let me know what you think!
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– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

21 Day Fix Banana Pancake Recipe

Happy January everyone!  Just another snow day here in Central PA.  I’m really grateful for the Turbo charged ice scraper/snow brush my hubby got me for Christmas.  It has an extension button that makes it up to 50″ long and a rotating brush so you can reach all the snow on your SUV.

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I officially finished the 21 Day Portion Fix yesterday and I am starting on the maintenance program today.  If you are someone that is looking for a way to lose extra pounds that is healthy and is NOT a crazy impossible diet, this one works.  I lost the Christmas weight I wanted to lose.  I did not starve or eat weird things for weeks on end.  There are many tasty recipes (aka Pinterest) you can find.  Just search “21 day fix”.  The best thing is most of them are really simple.  I can whip one up in 30 minutes or less.

Since school was cancelled again, I used my extra time to modify a recipe I found for Banana Pancakes.  It wasn’t fluffy enough for me so I changed it a little.  The pancakes were much better and they were worth 1 fruit, 1 carb, 1 protein and one teaspoon. Try it and see if you like it.

bananapancakes

1 banana

2 eggs

1/2 yellow container of oatmeal, 1/2 yellow  container of Bisquik (this is my change to make them fluffier)

1 tsp of butter

  1. Mix the first three ingredients in a blender until batter consistency
  2. Grease an electric skillet with butter
  3. Pour two pancakes from the blender
  4. Cook and serve with the remaining butter

These pancakes are sweet enough that you don’t need syrup.  I think the next time I see some good blueberries in the store, I will try this recipe with blueberries in place of the banana and see how it goes.

Comment and let me know if you like them!
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21 Day Fix Breakfast Recipe

I’m in my third week of Portion Fix.  It’s going well, I’ve lost the Christmas weight.  The best part is I feel a lot better.  I think it’s the fact that I am eating a LOT less sugar.  I’ve noticed that my workouts are easier. That in itself will keep me eating this way!

Anyway, I said I would be posting some of my own recipes.  Here’s an easy breakfast recipe that will keep you full all morning.  It’s a veggie omelet.  You need:

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1/2 blue of cheddar cheese

1/2 green of green pepper and tomatoes

1 red of Egg Beaters

  1. Chop green peppers and cherry tomatoes
  2. Spray a medium sized pan with PAM
  3. Saute the peppers and onions until tender
  4. Pour the egg Beaters over the peppers and onions
  5. Cook until Egg Beaters are solidified
  6. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the omelet
  7. Fold over and cook just until cheese melts
  8. Top with salsa if desired and enjoy!

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Do a Spartan Race in 2015!

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A new year is a chance to try something new, to challenge yourself, to step up your game. If you are into extreme racing, my friends at Spartan Racing are offering tons of things to make this your best extreme racing year ever.

  • They are introducing the Annual Race Pass.  For one fee you can enter any race, any time and race any heat at no extra charge. Plus you’ll get extra perks when you travel to a race like free bag check, discounts on hotels, rental cars and more.
  • The spectacular Spartan World Championship is slated for October in Lake Tahoe . This year, over $500,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.
  • The Spartans will be taking A CRUISE March 6-9.  It leaves Miami and heads to the Bahamas for a tropical Spartan Sprint.  There will be $50,000 in prizes. You will get the chance to meet the founder and CEO of Spartan Racing, Joe Desana on the ship and listen to expert speakers as you make your way to the race site. Once there, make new friends at the Spartan Party on the Beach. Then get ready! Your kids can compete in the free kids course and you can test your grit on Spartan Racing’s exclusive island course.
  • 2015 introduces the Spartan podcast. Founder Joe Desana travels the globe to interview leaders in the worlds of publishing, academics, business, athletics and high adventure to uncover the secrets to success in life. Biggest news?  It’s free! All you have to do is sign up to get advice from some pretty heavy hitters.

To get even more information, or to sign up for races, the cruise, podcast or annual pass. go to spartanracemedia.com. Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I have another race code to give away so you can compete in a Spartan Race for FREE! Leave a comment on this post telling us what Spartan Race activity you are going to challenge yourself with during 2015. One lucky winner will be chosen on January 31.

Plus, here’s a discount code to get you 10% off when you register for your next Spartan Race.  The code is SPARTANBLOGGER.  Have an extreme 2015!

Simple Portion Control

Happy 2015! A brand new year is a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again.  A chance to make new goals and a plan to reach them. Do you want to lose weight, become healthier and more fit, challenge yourself with something you need to prepare for? January is a great time to start.

21 day fix

This year my goal is to lose the holiday weight that crept on.  It’s much harder to do now that I am older.  I need a definite portion control plan. For the next three weeks, I’m using Portion Fix to help me cut the junk and eat the right amount of nutrients without overeating. Portion fix is a system to help you cut back on the calories without actually counting calories (which I hate). It used to be part of an exercise program called 21 Day Fix, but you can buy the containers seperately now (Yay!) The concept is simple, it’s just a series of containers that are colored according to the types of food you eat.  Green is for veggies, purple for fruit, red for protein, yellow for carbs, blue for healthy fats like milk and cheese. orange for salad dressings, seeds etc. and teaspoons for oils and nut butters.  You get to eat certain amounts (containers) of each type of food depending on your weight and if you want to lose or maintain your weight.

The very cool and helpful thing I discovered is that Pinterest is filled with recipes using this concept.  If you just search Pinterest with the phrase “21 day fix”  you will find tons of information and recipes.  You can make your own board and pin the recipes that appeal to you.  It makes cooking dinner pretty easy.  I have tried to keep lunch simple by buying some lean meats and canned veggies.  Then I just filled the containers, mixed the meat and veggies so I can microwave them at work and take another container of my favorite fruits. Breakfast is usually a protein shake for me, but you can find a lot of breakfast and lunch recipes, as well as snack ideas on Pinterest too. Here’s a link to follow my board if you’d like to.  I may even try to create a few of my own recipes or change the ones I try.  I’ll keep you posted.

Do you have any 21 Day Fix recipes to share?  Put a link in the comments!
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How to Lose the Christmas Weight

The hard core holiday party circuit has begun.  I don’t know about you, but I gain more weight that needs to come off between Thanksgiving and New Years than I do any other time of the year. Holidays mean sticky gooey sugar laden simple carbs, special holiday drinks and high calorie casseroles.  You know the drill. I cringe at the trip to the scales.

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So what to do when the parties stop and you want to get back to normal?  My answer to fastest excess weight loss (at least for me) is to cut way back on the simple carbs.

Here are two recipes that you can try for  dinner that could help.  The key is lean protein and vegetables.  Ax the bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, at least for the short term.  Serve meat with vegetables and a salad for dinner.  You will feel satisfied and you will be happier the next time you step on the scales.

Bar-g-q chip baked chicken (this one is my own creation)

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You will need:

1 package of chicken parts

1 bag Cape Cod Chips (the 40% less fat version)

2 Tbsp bar-b-q powdered seasoning (I used Hartley’s bar-b-q seaoning)

One cup fat free milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Skin the chicken parts, set aside
  3. Crush the potato chips. I used a food processor, then finished with my wooden meat tenderizer. Put the chips in a shallow bowl
  4. Add the bar-b-q seasoning to the crushed chips
  5. Coat each chicken part with milk
  6. Roll in the chip mixture and place in a baking dish
  7. Bake the chicken for one hour

Serve the chicken with a romaine lettuce salad and a fresh or frozen vegetable of your choice.

Grilled Marinated Steak (get more great recipes like this at eDiets.com)

You will need: (per person)steak

3 oz of sirloin beef

3 tsp of balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic

2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 1/2 tsp of olive oil

  1. Mince garlic
  2. Combine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, onion powder, black pepper and garlic in a shallow pie plate or dish
  3. Add steak and marinate, refridgerated, for about 30 minutes, turning meat once
  4. Preheat grill or broiler and cook steak on highest oven rack for 4-6 minutes
  5. Turn, brush with remaining marinade an grill 3 to 4 minutes
  6. Serve with your favorite fresh salad with a clear dressing

Do you have any suggestions for dropping the Christmas weight?  Please share!
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How Can I Work Out When I’m So Busy?

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Whew!  The weeks between Christmas and New Years are killer on my workout routine.  It’s tough to squeeze in workouts between shopping and making gifts, family get-togethers, parties with friends, work obligations, travelling, concerts, plays and volunteering. (That exhausted me just rereading all that stuff!)  It would be so easy to just scrap it till after the New Year.

BUT this is when I need my workouts most.  All this extra activity means added stress, not to mention extra calorie intake. So.. here’s the plan.  I’ll need to chunk my workouts. I may need to squeeze it in at 15 minute increments throughout the day. I may need to do a mini workout during my plan period at school.

Here’s just one example:  I usually do a strength workout 2 times per week.  It lasts about 40 minutes.  I do a 5-10 minute warm-up.  That’s followed by three sets of 2 strength moves, then 3 sets of two new moves, then 3 sets of a third pair of moves. I finish up with 8 minutes on the stationary bike and about a 5-10 minute cool down.

On these busy days that same workout may look more like this:  A 2 minute warm-up first thing in the morning, 3 sets of 2 strength moves, a quick stretch and I’m off to work.  During plan period at school, I squeeze in another quick warm-up and 3 more sets of two new moves, cool down, then get ready for my next class.  Then after work, I get the third set in, take the dog for a quick walk around the block and cool down with some stretches before we head out to a Christmas party.

If you need some ideas on squeezing your workouts in during these busy times, check out these 15 minute workouts.  Pick the one(s) that suit you best.  Want to work out around the commercials during all those Hallmark Channel Christmas movies?  Try these 30 second commercial length workouts.

Thanks Tony Horton!

Have some good ideas for working out during busy times?  Please share!