Plant Protein to Prevent Frailty

Check out THIS ARTICLE in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle that followed 85,000 women from 1980-2010 and found that:

Women with a higher intake of plant protein had a lower risk of developing frailty after adjustment for all relevant confounders [relative risks across quintiles of consumption: 1.00, 0.94, 0.89, 0.86, and 0.86; P-trend < 0.001]. In contrast, those with a higher intake of animal protein intake had a higher risk of frailty [relative risks across quintiles of consumption: 1.00, 0.98, 0.99, 1.00, and 1.07; P-trend 0.04]. The intake of total and dairy protein showed no significant association with frailty in the full model. Substituting 5% of energy from plant protein intake at the expense of animal protein, dairy protein, or non-dairy animal protein was associated with 38% (29%, 47%), 32% (21%, 42%), and 42% (33%, 50%) reduced risk of frailty.” SOURCE

As Dr. Garth Davis stated, it’s not hard to find an online influencer and even some doctors claiming that animal protein is superior to plant protein based on the fact that rodent studies have demonstrated higher absorption of amino acids like leucine which they claim may help grow muscle & prevent sarcopenia with aging; however, is that always a good thing? Studies are showing that an aging pathway – mTOR – is activated by leucine…food for thought, for sure! And make sure to include resistance training with weights to benefit muscle preservation as you age as well!

*I’m not a physician & this isn’t medical advice*

3 (simple) things you can do today to live better

Someone asked me today for 3 simple things they can do to live better starting NOW – so I thought I’d share:

  • Eat more mindfully.
    • Sit at a table and eat from a plate (no snacking in front of the fridge or while standing in the pantry)
    • Before your first bite, take a moment for gratitude and take five deep breaths to get into a parasympathetic “rest and digest” state before eating.
  • Increase your N.E.A.T. (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis which is basically any activity during the day that isn’t sleeping or formal exercise): Look for ways to incorporate movement and activity (note: I didn’t say to workout or go for a run) – just get moving & aim to reduce the amount of time spent sitting.
  • Listen to your body’s cues. Notice where you hold tension – I clench my jaw & make fists; you might hold your breath or your shoulders may creep up toward your ears. When you become aware of these tendencies, observe what may trigger them & note if there’s anything you can do to prevent the trigger. At a minimum, try to let go of the tension in the moment. Try a few rounds of Box Breathing- see the video below for a few minutes of guided breathwork to help de-stress and relax.

Food News & Chews follow-up

The podcast is live – and I’d love for you to check it out both via Apple Podcasts & on Spotify – and be sure to subscribe! “Not just about cooking, FNC is all about food and its place in our lives. And more than just one more recipe for cheese onion dip or leftovers after Thanksgiving, the world of food is explored as something more than that in our lives and culture. Whether related to health and wellness, safety, environmental protection, economic strength or access and affordability, food lies at the root.”

We really crammed a LOT in during our discussion, and I wanted to share some follow up information and references if something piqued your interest!

*Please note, I am not a physician and this is not medical advice – it is imperative to check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet and exercise regime*

moderation vs 80/20

I am not a fan of the word moderation when it comes to making healthy diet and lifestyle choices. First, I feel like it’s such a subjective term that can allow us to justify bad habits – who’s to say how much of an indulgence is a moderate amount? Additionally, if I were to have a “moderate” amount of sugar, “moderate” amount of fast food, “moderate” amount of saturated fat, and so on, I’d pretty quickly shift away from more healthy options as a whole. I coach my clients to be more accountable in an objective way by identifying a few healthier habits at a time and aiming for an 80/20 approach. We use a tracker (DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY HERE) and check off each habit daily while allowing for occasional indulgences or ‘miss days’. If 80/20 seems daunting, try 50/50 and increase over time to a higher rate. Check out my tracker for this month – note that I also list all the different plants I consume each week – more on that topic below! (I had a lot going on the first week of the month & didn’t list them).

olive oil

THIS ARTICLE in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that “Consuming more than 7 grams (>1/2 tablespoon) of olive oil per day is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, cancer mortality, neurodegenerative disease mortality and respiratory disease mortality, according to a study publishing today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study found that replacing about 10 grams/day of margarine, butter, mayonnaise and dairy fat with the equivalent amount of olive oil is associated with lower risk of mortality as well

diversity of plants/american gut project

Check out the Fiber Fueled book HERE

What’s the microbiome (“gut”)? Learn more HERE

The American Gut Project HERE

indulgences

When my sweet tooth needs attention, my favorite healthier indulgence is below. It doesn’t sound super exciting, but it is delicious!

  • 2 dates – remove the pit & split open lengthwise to make a little crater
  • smear a little natural nut butter in the crater
  • top with a couple non-dairy dark chocolate chips, if deisred

… and HERE is the mug cake I make (note -this definitely is NOT a healthy, whole food and includes inflammatory oil that I typically avoid – but I count it as a rare/ occasional indulgence in my 80/20 lifestyle). Sometimes, you just want a little treat!

inflammatory oils

Industrial seed oils (including Canola, Corn, Cottonseed, Soybean, Sunflower, Safflower, Grapeseed) are thought to be highly inflammatory and raise our omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratios, which may have significant consequences for our health. I avoid these and personally prefer to get my fat from whole plant foods including organic olive oil, avocados, nuts, flax and chia seeds. Ask your healthcare provider for more info, and check out THIS ARTICLE for easy to read facts about these oils.

mediterranean diet

Check out the Blue Zones HERE

The Mediterranean Diet and the Ornish Diet tied for #1 in best heart healthy diets in U.S. News – check out the rankings HERE. Read more about the Ornish lifestyle HERE ( I love his book, Un-Do It!)

Check out my thoughts on “busy-ness”in THIS POST.

carolina gold rice

I order from Anson Mills HERE and check out THIS ARTICLE about the history and benefits of Carolina Gold Rice.

WANT MORE?

Please consider subscribing to my email list at the top of the page, follow me on social media on Instagram @gretchen.farah and Facebook @goalfitmethod, and join our monthly membership community HERE where I share Food, Fitness, and Focus strategies to up-level and live your best life. As I said in the podcast, life is so short and precious, and we have each been gifted this on vessel in which to live it. Let’s take the best care of it that we can.

Food News & chews – tips and “busy-ness”

I just finished recording as a guest on the Food News and Chews radio show and podcast.  We discussed all kinds of things from the one thing I recommend everyone cut out when aiming to eat healthier, to gut health, my favorite indulgences, the 80/20 approach & more.  At the end of the discussion, we talked about the Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle which got me thinking about our American way of life and “busy-ness” – so here are a few more thoughts about being busy vs being mindful & how we can level-up! I’ll be sure to share the podcast link once it goes live.

CLICK HERE to check out the membership site to join for $10.99/month and be a part of our community focusing on Food, Fitness and Focus strategies to live your best life!

Recovering from a bout of overeating

Overdo it this week? You’re not alone! But don’t let it derail your progress or get you down! Here are some tips to get back on track:

  • Take some time to think about what contributed to overeating:
    • Was it simply the overwhelming amount of yummy options available?
    • Any triggers like stress or boredom?
  • Freeze any leftovers so you don’t continue picking at them. Transfer any items that have been left out to storage containers & put them away in the fridge or pantry. 
  • Eat from a plate at the table – no more snacking while standing at the pantry or fridge. 
  • Make hydration a priority.
  • Wait until you feel hungry to eat and then have a typical amount of healthy food – don’t restrict yourself – it won’t help!
  • Wait a few days before stepping back on the scale.
  • Commit to some movement – go for a walk or get back to your regularly scheduled workouts.
  • Don’t give yourself a hard time.  Remember – It’s normal to overeat at Thanksgiving, but be sure not to let it continue into the rest of the holiday season. 
  • Use your tracker & stay on track with your Super 60 habits!