Not a fan of counting calories.

I don’t typically count calories. I do have one exception: if the container provides them. I primarily dine on plant based foods and there are no calories printed on broccoli, spinach or tomatoes. I buy bulk and those items don’t have labels once I get them home; such as quinoa, beans, nut butters, nuts, oat grouts, etc. The items that have labels include eggs, cheese, coconut oil and avocado oil which I know to consume in smaller quantities.

I base my food portions for what I am eating. If I am eating a healthy item (read plant based and not processed) I give myself a healthy portion. If it is a more processed version, then smaller portions of it. If it is a known caloric item such as nuts, nut butters, cheeses and oils; then I use sparingly or know that my general caloric intake will be higher for that meal or day.

I am not a fan of counting calories, I think that if we eat healthy we shouldn’t have to count our calories. We as a society are stuck on counting calories and I understand why with the horrifying rise of obesity in our nation. But often what we choose to eat and the number of calories we allow ourselves put us in problematic cycles of starvation and depletion of nutrients. You also cannot expect to get all your nutrients if you pick processed foods with high calorie counts and limit your intake of total calories. But that is another topic for another time.

This may sound like a simple idea, but I understand that it is not. We want easy, fast and healthy. Sadly, we cannot have all three. It can be easy and fast but it won’t be healthy. And healthy takes time to prep so it’s not always fast and easy is often up for debate. My suggestion is take all the energy you put into counting calories and put into creating meals that are made from fresh ingredients. You just might stop stressing over what can you eat and start getting excited at what you get to eat!

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Over 40 & Bone Loss

As we age we naturally start to see a decrease in bone mass. Basically existing bone cells are reabsorbed by the body much faster than we make new bone. We peak around age 30, reaching our max bone density, and from there start to slowly lose bone mass over time. Several factors play into the speed of which this takes place such as gender, family history, smoking, being thin, eating disorders, diet, medical conditions regarding metabolism, menopause, excessive alcohol consumption, medicines that interrupt absorption, disease and cancer treatments. With all this being what it is and our control of bone loss pretty low, we need to make sure we are doing our part to ensure the healthiest bones possible long into our exercising over 40 lifestyles.osteoporosis

Exercise is critical. We need to make sure we are doing strength training and some form of impact cardio. Impact cardio can be walking, jogging, running, racket sports, dancing, water aerobics are just a few ideas. Strength training can be free weights or body weight. Because when the muscles pull on the bones you stimulate your bones to make new bone cells. Since our absorption is greater than our production, we need this boost.

Diet is also critical. We need Calcium and Vitamin D. Without enough calcium your body will start to break down your own bones to get it. Also you need Vitamin D to aid absorption of Calcium plus it is needed for bone growth and bone remodeling. So without adequate Vitamin D your bones can become brittle, thin or misshapen. So these two supplements are a strong team in fending off bone loss. Many people simply take supplements, which is fine but you also need to make sure your diet has foods rich in Calcium and Vitamin D. Now, although you need both, you do not have to take them together. Vitamin D levels need to be adequate or available in the body so when you enjoy calcium rich foods your body can absorb these much needed nutrients. So yes they are a team, but the sport is an all day and all night activity.

Naturally rich in Calcium

Naturally rich in Vitamin D

Milk

Cod Liver Oil

Kale

Swordfish

Sardines

Salmon

Broccoli

Tuna

Watercress

Egg Yolks

Bock Choy

Okra

Almonds

Sunlight: 20-25 minutes

 

I am not a fan of ‘fortified with …..’ foods because often its food items you don’t need in your system in the name of adding a supplement. For example, calcium or vitamin D fortified orange juice, flavored yogurts or cereals. The sugar and nutrient starved food items are not worth the added supplements. See my blog post regarding my issue with sugar to understand why.

I eat items from the two lists every day of my life to ensure a bone healthy diet. I do not eat yogurt or drink milk thanks to lactose issues so I have added Calcium and Vitamin D supplements. On top of my cardio and weight training I am doing my part in fending off my inevitable. My bone density scan shows I have Osteopenia which is lower than normal bone density but not low enough to be considered osteoporosis. I’m not happy to know this new fact about my overall health but as I always say “Knowledge is Power”. So Calcium and Vitamin D foods we are about to become even better friends!