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Nutrition Over 40

Nutrition Over 40

Women aging smart is my new obsession. I have always made smart choices regarding nutrition with the occasional indulge on this or that. This is normal and I am not a fan of restricting. I have the burger and fries if I want to. Lets be real, you have to enjoy life and food is delicious and fun! The best challenge is taking a cool recipe and health-ing it up!

Choosing whole, organic, fresh and locally based foods ensure that you are getting quality nutrients to nourish your body. This is not only important for the general population but especially critical as women enter into their 40s and 50s to to further support energy levels, hormone changes, mood and overall quality of life.

I try to look at nutrition the same way I look at fitness or the physical side of this symbiotic relationship, with mindfulness.  Moving the body with a mindful approach, has led me to feeling strong and functional.  This should always be the goal. I approach food with the same theory. Is  what your choosing, what you are about to put in your body, going to be nourishing and help in maintaining strength and functionality or will it weigh you down and make you feel slow and sluggish and in turn decrease health and longevity?

We all know that what got you by as a younger adult will not necessarily work as we get older. This is especially true for women as we begin to enter into our 40s and 50s.  Hormones are changing kids and we want to select food and nutrient choices that can support those changes.

Protein rich foods are so helpful because they help preserve lean body mass which means a higher metabolism. It also helps regulate blood sugar and is essential for maintaining a healthy body weight.

Each persons needs vary, but I like to aim for 1.2 grams of protein per body weight or 20-30 grams per meal. I chose a variety of animal proteins as it is the most efficient delivery system and is more easily absorbed for most.  Animal proteins are considered complex proteins which means they provide all of the essential amino acids our body needs as opposed to plant protein which are incomplete proteins. Plant proteins lack in either one or the other required essential amino acids, so they should be consumed in combination in order to serve as complete.

Healthy fats play a multitude of roles in the body. They provide energy, keep cholesterol and blood pressure under control and assist your body in absorbing vital nutrients. They feed the brain! Try an avocado, macadamia nuts or a tablespoon or extra virgin olive oil and watch your energy climb!

Nutrient dense foods are those rich in vitamins, mineral and antioxidants. Eating a variety of these foods can help to calm inflammation and sometimes help in regulating hormones, blood sugar and mood. Berries, apples and citrus fruits are loaded with antioxidants which help keep free radicals at bay. Cruciferous vegetables and many lettuce varieties are very high in nutrients such as B, A, C, E, K and fiber.  I love the micro green versions as they contain up to 40 times more nutrients compared to their mature equivalent. Toss them into a smoothie or on top of a salad!

Ancient grains like farro and buckwheat are loaded with protein, fiber, Vitamin B, iron and manganese with the added advantage of being gluten free. The best is a cold farro salad with cucumber, tomato and feta.  Load that salad with basil, mint, parsley and cilantro and its a refreshing nutrient burst!

Think positively about the change in food lifestyle you plan to make. Keep it basic but delicious. Emphasize whole, minimally processed foods.  Focus on grass fed, pasture raised animal products and ancient or whole grains. The most local and seasonal organic fruits and vegetables available and add nuts and seeds with some dark chocolate as a treat.

Check out Yogaworks and Tracy’s Instagram for healthy fun and fresh recipes to add to your plate!

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