It’s time to clean out the fridge! Of any junk food, sugary breakfast cereals, candy bars and juices, along with other unless carbs like white bread and cookies and those 340-calorie muffins. If they are not in the house, you can’t eat them. Stocking up on fresh fruits, especially apples, pears, berries, melons, nuts and pumpkin seeds as nibbles, within a week, you won’t even think about those muffins. Are you eating enough protein? Often we are hungry and tired so we go for the sugar snack.
Out bodies are composed of structural proteins. Protein is the framework that holds the nerves, blood vessels, our organs and skin together. Protein helps our body to function properly. Our immune systems use sophisticated proteins called antibodies to keep us from infections. Just as an example, protein is a major component of our blood. This essential protein, albumin, helps us keep the right amount of water inside our arteries and veins. Without it, we would shrivel or swell depending on what we have eaten. Gravity would pool fluid in our legs, swelling them to many times our normal size. Protein is such an important part of our bodies we need to take it seriously. We need the right amounts and the correct kinds of protein to function at our best.
There are hundreds of diet books out there. Feel free to take your pick. Yet the very basic need has to be met and studies have proved that our diet should consist of some form of protein three times a day. Recommended for women are 46g per day. It’s protein that stays with us keeping us from having those low tired moments. Proteins repair damaged tissue keeping us healthy; tissue is breaking down every minute causing us to age, proteins repair that tissue keeping us young.
The best sources of protein are from lean red meat, chicken, fish and plant based foods like peanut butter, nuts and seeds. Greek–style yogurt has some 22 grams in 1 cup–a perfect snack food. Fill your fridge with high protein snacks like: cheeses, hard boiled eggs, cold turkey slices, lean non-processed meats and nuts. Whenever I cook salmon I cook a piece for me and a piece for the fridge; it’s my go-to-snack food; as well as a half-dozen air tight jars of nuts and pumpkin seeds.
Beware of protein bars, shakes and powders, they seem to be more hype than fact and loaded with sugars. Protein is really easy to find and no longer a high priced item on the grocery bill. So go for it and feel the difference in stamina, muscle mass and focus.
My mother would remind us that we eat not just to grow but to feed our brain. Never did I realize that it’s not a myth, there are foods that do just that. There is solid research about heart healthy foods, foods that cut the risks of diabetes, belly fat or increase energy. And yes, there are foods that research has found to be an intervention for neurodegenerative delay. Studies tell us that people who are more active both physically and mentally tend to have better memory function. And David B. Teplow’s group working with the Mary S. Eastman Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA found that there are chemical compounds responsible for improved memory called “polyphenols”, potent anti-oxidants, and if small enough are able to move from the blood stream to the brain. These tiny molecules can prevent brain damage. And these polyphenols can be found in nature. Sources include: berries, tea, beer, chocolate, coffee, walnuts, peanuts, pomegranates, popcorn and red wine (in limited amount). Researchers have also found that that elderly people who got at least the daily amount of “selenium”, about 55mcg a day had higher cognitive scores. Some sources of selenium are eggs, tuna, whole-wheat bread and you need only two Brazil nuts (extremely high in selenium) to meet your limit.
We think of diet as only calories, yet it’s choosing the correct foods and portion sizes that give us a healthy lifestyle. This trigger is to have you become more sensitive of how our food choices and exercise choices make us ageless. Sometimes we get impatient and want to drop those pounds overnight. We need to think twice and discuss options with our buddy. Often we get ourselves into a situation that only causes trouble. Those quick fixes usually are just a waste of time, expensive and may even be harmful. Liposuction is for body shaping refinement, it is not a quick fix for weight-loss. Too much removed body fat can cause huge folds of hanging unattractive skin, and tax our heart. Older bodies do not do well with liposuction as the skin does not shrink back as it does with youthful skin. Laser treatments that are to “melt the fat” can be slow to see results and usually show some change only with diet and exercise. Over the years there has been a purported weight-loss method that involves getting your ear stapled: auricular acupuncture. The surgical-grade staple stays in the ear for six weeks to several months. The basic idea is that it suppresses the appetite. How it works is pretty hazy. Believers say ear stapling can not only curb your appetite, but reduce stress, increase metabolism, eliminate migraine headaches, nicotine cravings and insomnia! However, there is NO scientific evidence to support these claims.
Weight loss takes time and we need to accept that. But it does happen, so hang in there.
Here again I ask for you to take a good look at yourself and remember, again: The best investment is in yourself!