The Sirtfood Diet. Is it right for you? Start here.

The Sirtfood Diet. What is it? Does it work? Is it right for you?

We are finally feeling settled in our new-to-us mountain home. I am completely comfortable up here in the Utah mountains. Being somewhat secluded yet not far from Park City with all it’s laid back posh…….suits me quite well actually!
If you know me, or have read here very long, you will know that I am a huge believer in the restorative health benefits of fresh air and exercise. Being here, gives me plenty of both of those things, along with a serene environment that feels like a place that people go to “get away from it all”. I love it.

I haven’t been working out with weights in quite awhile and I am feeling it. Its time to get back to building some lean muscle. Losing muscle has left me with the beginnings of achey joints, slumping posture and an all over “flat” look that I’m not too jazzed about.

*This post contains affiliate links*

We still don’t have our gym set up here. I must admit, it will be quite a downgrade to have to work out in the garage again after our former house had a dedicated gym, but alas……thats where it will be. I’ve been putting together my new workouts and preparing to get really sore again for a bit. In organizing a loose nutrition plan for myself, I stumbled upon the Sirtfood Diet by Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten and I am completely intrigued.

In case you haven’t heard of it, it came onto the scene last year and was incredibly popular in the UK, but not so much in the US. After reading a lot of the reviews in the US it was easy to understand why: no one actually followed the plan! All of the reviews that I found from the US either skimped on the actual juice ingredients or only followed it for a week, or some other nonsense. After reading several UK reviews who actually FOLLOWED the plan, I was curious….. so I bought the book.The Sirtfood Diet, Is it right for you? For women over 40.

**NOTE: Many articles have been published trashing this plan because of the first three, mostly juice days. These same publications have raved on in the past about low cal, detox diets of all types, so this does not dissuade me at all. This diet is extremely high in nutrient content, even in the first three days<eye roll>. **

The premise of the research and thus the diet, in a nutshell, is this: “Certain foods contain chemicals called polyphenols that put mild stress on our cells, turning on genes that mimic the effects of fasting and exercise.” Yep- basically, eating loads of the foods that activate the same gene pathways typically activated by exercise and fasting. And wouldn’t you know it- turns out all of these foods are good, healthy, whole foods. Huh- who’d have thought?

From their site: “A diet rich in these sirtfoods, kick-starts weight loss without sacrificing muscle, while maintaining optimal health.”

You can get the book here, with information on the research and studies that led to this way of looking at nutrition and weight loss. That bit about “without sacrificing muscle” really has me going. I find the science behind this, especially looking at nutrition from a cellular level, very interesting. I am eager to try it out and learn more.

I’m an 80’s girl and if there’s one thing we did in the 80’s, it’s DIET. And boy-oh-boy did it leave some of us with some mental and metabolic baggage to deal with! But what can I say- I love a good plan to get me motivated, so I’m going all in on the Sirtfood Diet. Cause if it’s good enough for Pippa Middleton, it’s good enough for me, ya know what I’m sayin’?

Preparation will be key with this plan so I am getting my lists together. The first thing was to find my juicer. Here’s the one I have :

It really works great without taking up a huge amount of counter space. And yes- you MUST use a juicer for this- if you put these ingredients into your bullet and try to drink it you’ll gag for a month. JUICE…..thats what we are after.

But this is not a “Juice diet”. It’s more of a way of life-kind of plan, similar to so many popular diets like Paleo, Whole 30, Adkins, 5:2, and many others. Basically just eating a diet rich in these “sirtfoods”. Oh- and did I mention that red wine and dark chocolate are ON THE LIST? Did I not mention that? Yeah- they’re on there.

PHASE 1- lasts 3 days

I’ll be starting next week and I’ll post regularly throughout the phases and let you know how it’s going, what I am experiencing and if I think it’s worth your time and effort. Phase 1 is the most restrictive and I personally am looking at it as more of a “detox” phase. Its only 3 days and your daily caloric intake is 1000 calories. Your food consists of Sirtfood Green juice 3 times a day and 1 Sirtfood meal.

*(As a former personal trainer, I’ve always suggested NEVER dropping below 1200 calories, but this is only 3 days- that are also simultaneously packed with high nutrient value- so I’m going with it.)

The recipes for the meals are all laid out for you in the book and the plan its self is easy to understand. The recipes look flavorful and delicious. They do require preparation, so if you’re not at home in the kitchen, this may not be something you’ll want to do.  I like to cook and I am looking forward to trying them.

Sirtfood Green Juice

2 large handfuls kale

a large handful of rocket( UK term for arugula)

a very small handful of flat leaf parsley

2-3 large celery sticks

1/2 medium green apple

1 inch piece of ginger

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp matcha powder

The Sirtfood diet for Women over 40. A multi-post review on the diet made popular by celebrities like Adelle and Pippa Middleton

I’ve already made the juice a few times and it’s really good. No problem there, so we will see how it goes! But: Need. More. Kale.

Have you ever heard of the Sirtfood diet? Ever tried it? Let me know in the comments.

As always, thank you for reading, commenting and sharing!

Cheers!

Melissa

#SaturdayShareLinkup at Not Dressed as Lamb

 

If you are Over 40, your hormones may be ruining your life. Here’s what you can do about it.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a percentage.

Hormonal balance. It is one of the keys to a joyful existence and if you are a woman over 40- it’s worth your time and effort to pursue that balance. I am not a medical professional and this is in no way to be considered to be medical advice. But I want to share my story and what I have learned about estrogen dominance and finding hormonal balance.

When your hormones are in balance, you feel great. You have energy, a healthy sex drive and a normal appetite. You sleep better and basically all the systems of your body are working as they should and you feel amazing. Remember that? Back when you were….oh, I dunno…..20?

Do you have trouble getting restful sleep at night? Are you noticing unexplained fat gain around your middle even though you haven’t changed a thing in your diet or exercise? Are you irritable or depressed to the point that your reactions don’t really fit the situation? Is your thinking “foggy”? Are you experiencing a decreased sex drive? Are you forgetful? Do you often have cold hands and feet? These are just a few of the symptoms of estrogen dominance. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you owe it to yourself and everyone around you to take a simple hormone saliva profile test and find relief!

The things in the above list are the main things that I was struggling with. And while I could sort of brush aside most of the symptoms and blame them on something else, there were two that I simply could not live with: the unexplained weight gain and the horrible irritability. NOTHING was working. Honestly- I couldn’t even stand myself and I couldn’t figure out what had happened to turn me into this monster! I could see my husband was trying to figure out what was going on as well- at a later date he confessed that he thought to himself, “GREAT. I broke her.”

As for me, I was just thinking, “Well….. Here we go. This is it. THE BIG M. I’m there. It was good run- but it’s over. May as well, start growing a little hunch back so my shawl won’t slip off.” It was a bleak time.

I am a pretty proactive person by nature and I simply could not live like this. Enter the Saliva Hormone Test . This was a simple test offered by ZRT Laboratories. You order the test, spit in a few tubes, and send them back. You will receive easy to read laboratory results to help you decide how to proceed if in fact, hormonal imbalance is contributing to your issues.(Your doctor may also order this test). You can take these results with you to your doctor who understands hormonal imbalance, to find a way forward. If  your doctor does NOT understand hormones- find one who does. Any HINT of “Sorry-it’s just part of aging” or ” You just need something to help your feelings-Here’s an anti depressant”…..get a second opinion. Either of the above statements MAY be correct in some cases, but you owe it to yourself to find a medical professional who at least understands hormones, before settling for either of those statements.

Estrogen Dominance- What is it?

Brace yourself for the most simplistic and non-medical description of estrogen dominance ever. I have links below to professional explanations and research- in the meantime- here’s mine:

Some time around 40 your levels of estrogen and progesterone begin to decline. Totally normal. However, while your estrogen drops at about a 35% rate, your PROGESTERONE levels can take a 75% drop! Thats estrogen dominance- the over abundance of estrogen PAIRED WITH the simultaneous lack of progesterone to level things out. The balance of both is the key.

Sistas, you heard it here first:

Balance keeps the b*tch away.

hormones over 40

You can read more about the reasons for the imbalance, as well as links to several studies, here .[ctt template=”8″ link=”94rbe” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]Estrogen Dominance? Balance keeps the b*tch away.http://wp.me/p8dZDB-Hh[/ctt]

Estrogen Dominance: What you can do about it.

After finding that I was estrogen dominant, two ridiculously simple things set me back to my normal self.  The results were amazing and were very fast- including the dropping of the extra pounds I had put on. Again- I didn’t change a thing except adding these two things to my day:

  1. Progesterone cream
  2. DIM supplement

Along with my proactive nature, I am also a natural skeptic. I expected ZERO results from either of these things. In less than 2 weeks after beginning the progesterone cream, my moods became stable I was no longer anxious and my cycle returned to normal. I began sleeping well again and my energy levels were great and the brain fog that I had been experiencing, was completely gone. I felt GOOD again.

DIM was completely new to me. DIM is a naturally occurring phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables. It promotes the metabolism of excess estrogen. Body builders have used this supplement for years, since the last thing they need is excess estrogen floating around their bodies! Well, it turns out I don’t need excess either. I experienced some detox symptoms the first few days taking this, mainly in the form of a headache. But after that initial reaction- wow! I won’t be without it. This was the second part of the 1-2 punch that put my hormones back in balance. These two things restored me to myself again. I was so shocked and so happy.And so was my poor husband! And yes, absolutely- the difference was notable to him as well- and honestly, he’s a simple man and we’ve been married for 27 years, so it takes a bit for him to sit up and take notice.

There is much, much more involved in hormone balance and many more things to consider for your own personal situation. For instance, prescription drugs, birth control…….even improper digestion can cause your estrogen imbalance, since estrogen can be reabsorbed into the body if your digestive system isn’t working properly.

I hope that my experience will encourage you to find answers for your particular situation. You don’t have to live with these symptoms and I don’t think you were meant to. Do the research and seek out the help you need to make you feel good again! I’ve linked some sights below to get you started.

Energetic Nutrition

John R. Lee, MD

Christiane Northrup, MD

I hope that this is helpful to you now or in some way in the future. I have loads of personal updates on life in general to give you. Life went a little sideways but its all coming back around- can’t wait to fill you in! Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing!

Cheers! Here’s to not throwing in the towel, just yet!

~Melissa

 

What Worked Wednesday: Adding lemon water in my morning routine

This weeks “What Worked Wednesday” is about adding warm lemon water to my morning routine. I’ve been doing this for about 3 months now, and I’m never going back. It seriously improves how I feel in the morning. I feel more energetic and awake than I ever did drinking coffee.Adding warm lemon water to my morning routine

It has helped me to cut back on my morning coffee consumption. I love to have a cup of coffee around midday, but after drinking  several cups in the morning, and then another one around midday, I found that it was wreaking havoc on my energy levels as well as my overall mood. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning has helped me to cut back to only one cup of coffee in the morning, freeing me up to still enjoy another cup later in the day, with no caffein backlash!adding lemon water to my morning routine

While I actually enjoy warm lemon water, it took me awhile to actually create the habit. My mornings were set in stone and if I got to the kitchen, I was already pouring that coffee before I could even think about the lemon water. So, I set out to disrupt myself in the mornings. I set up a little station in our master bath, right beside my vanity table. It has an electric kettle along with my tea cup and a few lemons. Its easy to hit the button on the kettle, squeeze some lemon into a cup and sip away while I am getting myself pulled together first thing in the morning.(I don’t even let the cat see me in the morning before I’ve at least got my hair tamed and the sleep look off my face. I can’t tell if she appreciates it. Cats don’t care about anything.)  I love it when I can trick myself into a healthier habit. adding lemon water to my morning routineLater in the morning, I’ll get my coffee and head out the door to walk Winston.

Perhaps the biggest improvement I have experienced since starting the lemon water habit, is in my digestion. A notable difference. Which, in turn automatically improves my energy levels. As you sleep at night, your liver is doing double time to eliminate toxins and restore and regenerate your body. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to be sure it can complete this process……. adding the lemon is a bonus.

A Few Benefits of Lemon Water
*Vitamin C, Potassium and magnesium

Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning gives your body a chance to absorb these minerals right away.

*Clearer skin

Due to the flushing effect, along with the Vitamin C absorption, it can lead to clearer skin.

*Help with weight loss

Studies show that after drinking 17 oz of water, metabolic rates increased by 30% and lasted for about 40 minutes. Now, thats no miracle weight loss drink, but what an easy thing to do to give yourself a boost!

If you have trouble with your adrenals or high cortisol levels, or if you’re just stressed to the max- try adding a few cups of warm lemon water to your routine first thing in the morning. This will definitely be a better alternative for you than caffeine in your system first thing in the morning! I think you will see a noticable difference.adding lemon water to my morning routine

Remember your liver- it’s been working all night long- throw it a bone and help it to finish that flush with a few cups of warm lemon water. It works.

Thanks for being here and for reading and sharing my posts! You guys are the best!

Ooo- I almost forgot- I’m trying a new lash procedure next week. I’ll be sure to give you all the details! I’m excited!!!

Cheers!

Melissa

The skinny on weight loss over 40; Four Changes for Success

Weight loss over 40 can be a huge challenge. If you have noticed that your mid section has suddenly become softer and that you seem to pack on pounds around your middle just LOOKING at a donut, you’re not crazy.  Lower estrogen levels are just one factor that is causing you to have to sport a new muffin top that you simply don’t seem to be able to shake!

The good news: If you really want to get in shape, lose that midsection and feel energetic and confident, you can!Weight Loss Success Over 40; 4 changes you must make

However….. (here it comes)……..you’ve got to make some changes. While we will get into the physical fitness part soon, today I want to convince you just how important it is for you to nail the nutrition piece. If you are  a woman over 40 trying to lose weight, you must realize that unlike in your 20’s and 30’s, exercise alone just isn’t enough. Lower estrogen levels, coupled with a natural decrease in muscle mass is doing a number on your metabolism. The things that didn’t really matter in your 20’s MATTER now. You MUST make the proper changes in your diet if you hope to see results.

The good news is that you really CAN slim that midsection and get in shape! And honestly, the changes aren’t all that bad, but they are crucial to your success.

Four changes for weight loss over 40

1. Track. Your. Food.

I can’t stress this enough. If you aren’t tracking your calorie and/or macro nutrient intake, you have no idea how much or how little you are eating. You need to track everything long enough to get a real visual of how much you should be eating. What it LOOKS like. There are so many things that can be revealed by tracking your food.

*Not getting enough fiber? = weight gain and bloating

*Getting too much salt?= weight gain and bloating

*Getting too much hidden sugar from processed foods?= weight gain and bloating

*Getting too many carbs and not enough protein?=weight gain and loss of muscle

These are just the outward results seen in the body, I haven’t even touched on the medical issues that can result from these diet deficiencies. These are just a few of the things that can be shown through food tracking that you could easily adjust to see results so much faster! If you are clueless how to do this, go here and then sign up for the free version of My Fitness Pal. Track that sh*z!

2. Lower your sugar intake.

You absolutely MUST lower your sugar intake to between 25 and 30 grams per day if you are over 40 and seeing the weight gain we have been talking about. Eating a diet without processed foods, will help you tremendously to cut your sugar. If you are already eating a fairly “clean” diet, then look to see where the sugar is creeping in. Fruit is great for you, but too much will cause your sugar intake to skyrocket! Are you drinking sodas? Maybe that midday sugar ladened latte every day? Find out where it’s coming from and make some cuts and exchanges.

3. Reduce your alcohol intake.

This one is the hardest for me. I LOVE LOVE my red wine! I also LOVE a well crafted cocktail! For me, wine and cocktails represent family, friends, relaxation…….I love them. But I can’t carelessly sip those drinks anymore without repercussions. Alcohol can’t be used for fuel, so it is turned straight to fat in the body.(Depressing, I know……it’s almost like it was MEANT to be enjoyed in moderation! <snort>) You will have to figure out what works best for you. For me personally, I have experienced wonderful results from cutting back my alcohol consumption to only a few drinks on the weekends. I sleep better, have more energy and my waist is slimming back down. I swapped out my red wine at night for a cup of hot tea or a glass of  kombucha (in a wine glass, because old habits die hard and I’m classy like that).

4. Eat more vegetables.

Learn to love ’em. It is ESSENTIAL that you get enough fiber. I personally shoot for 25-30 grams. Not only does fiber ensure that you are absorbing the macronutrients you need for muscle growth, but it helps move food through your intestines which takes energy….which improves your metabolism among other things!

Follow me on FACEBOOK where I post pictures of my own My Fitness Pal pages, lunch ideas, tips and just tips, hacks and encouragement to make life easier over 40, while trying to keep it real. You can also follow me on PINTEREST where my boards are allllllll about women over 40!

We are in this together!

Cheers! <Raising kombucha> and Happy Valentines Day! Here’s a cute picture of Winston sniffing (and licking…..weirdo) flowers. Eat the chocolates and then lets get started tomorrow!Weight Loss over 40! Happy Valentines Day!

Melissa

Meal Prep!

Welcome back! It’s time for meal prep. Today I will walk you through the food prepping process that will keep you on track and barreling straight toward your fitness and weight loss goals this year! If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, you might want to start here, and here and then make your way back. Meal Prep!How To prep for Fitness Success

As a former personal trainer, I am here to tell you that this one, simple step, is what causes most people to fail to reach their goals. So much of your success is wrapped up in this 45 minutes or less, each week. Not for the rest of your life- but for now- you need to do this, to get where you want to be. If you are over 40- this is crucial to your success. Exercise alone, is not enough. Nutrition is key. Make a plan and make it work.

Here is a scenario:

Helga is out running errands. The post office takes WAY longer than it should and there is a major traffic jam on the way to pick up Jr. from his weekly worm farming co-op.  Helga had envisioned herself back at home eating a salad by now, and is SO.FREAKING.HUNGRY, it’s taking every bit of her will power not to to tell Jr just to shut.it.- as he prattles on excitedly about his fun time at the worm farm. Helga wants to be a good mom so she decides that she will just swing by the fast food joint, and get a salad for herself and a box of Fat n’ Happy for Jr. Five minutes later, she finds herself half way through a gray meat burger and scrounging her chipped, manicured hand around in the bottom of a greasy, salty container of fries.

Foiled again.

<Cue self-loathing.>

Don’t. Be. Helga. Have a plan.

One of the best tips I have is to cook in bulk. It will save you so much time during the week! So, you can either plan meals just for yourself, or cook in bulk to pull from for your entire family. Get your groceries (you can download my free list, to help you) and lets prep that sh*z!

How to meal prep

1. Cut up all of the vegetables that you will be using for your personal meals (lunch and breakfast; or cook enough to pull from for your whole family for the week-they need veggies too!) and place them in a steamer, or a steamer basket in the bottom of a pot. Get them steaming and cook to your personal preference. You can also steam in the microwave by placing the veggies and enough water to cover the bottom of the bowl, in a large microwavable bowl with a plate on top. Microwave on high for 5-8minutes and let sit until they have reached the desired doneness. Set aside.

2. Get out the proteins you will be using for your meals (lunch) and prepare and cook them to your liking. Grill it, roast it, sauté’ it……..whatever you like and however you like (no deep frying).Use seasonings liberally and fats (oils and butters) very sparingly.

3. Get out your starches. Cook some rice and/or your potatoes however you like, again, season liberally, use fats very sparingly.

4. Assemble your foods on the counter and get out your storage containers. (I’ll give you a second to find the blasted lids.) I only  prep my lunches, since I eat almost the same breakfast every day,( more on that here) and our dinner is a family affair, (but is also- quite shockingly- made up of proteins and vegetables). So, thats 6 lunches.

I personally like to keep my steamed vegetables in a large container and dip from them for every meal, for myself as well as for my family.meal prep for success

In my lunch containers, I put the amount of food to keep me around my calorie/ nutrition intake that I calculated here. This equals out to roughly 4 oz. of protein and 3 oz of starch….or about 1 cup of protein and about 1/2 cup of starches. meal prep for success

Using your own numbers that you calculated here, subtract 250 calories if you are trying to lose weight and put that number in as your calorie goal into My FItness Pal. This will help you know exactly how much to put in each of these containers for yourself. Stack them up and place them in the fridge. You are ready for the week!

meal prep for success

As lunch time rolls around, pop out your lunch. Grab a scoop of your steamed vegetables. You can add some fresh salsa, a tablespoon of cheese and/or guacamole and wall-la! It’s a damn good lunch! Alternatively, you can add some good quality honey mustard,  or fresh spaghetti sauce,topped with parmesan cheese. Just be sure to log it all in to your My Fitness Pal and make adjustments as you go through the week with amounts, to try to hit close to your goal number. There are endless combinations here, and I will have lots of tips and examples. Also, follow me on Pinterest where you will find a board dedicated to Family Paleo recipes.

Another scenario:

Belinda is out running errands. The post office takes WAY longer than it should and there is a major traffic jam on the way to pick up little Scarlet from her play hour at Mensa International. Belinda had envisioned herself back at home by now, eating her power lunch. But not to worry, she has her lunch packed with her, as well as a homemade, nutritious snack for little Scarlet. Belinda is a good mom, so she stops at the park to eat an impromptu picnic lunch while little Scarlet chatters away about her future dreams and plans of becoming a real estate mogul, building a cosmetic empire and eventually running for President of the United States.

Be Belinda. Have a plan.

Did you smile? The stories are for fun, but the planning is for real. It isn’t hard and it will save you from getting off track. If you find yourself dining out for lunch (NOT fast food! Remember Helga!), you won’t go wrong with meat and vegetables (not starches ie, fries).

Skip the bread, the chips and the soft drinks.

Most restaurant menus contain salmon and veggies, or steak and salad or chicken and veggies, these are all good choices and will keep you full steam ahead on getting in shape!

Next time, we will start talking about activities and exercises. Don’t worry- we just start where we are. I’ve got you. You can do this!

Begin with your nutrition and take the week to get the hang of logging in your food and getting rid of the junk. It is SO IMPORTANT to learn what your caloric intake should LOOK like. Get a visual! Be intentional! If you screw up,no worries- brush it off and hop right back in.

Are you completely confused? Need me to calculate your calories for you? Place your email in the sidebar on the right and then let me know your struggles- Email me!
I can help you with calculating your calories for My Fitness Pal and answer any questions you may have about getting started.

Don’t forget  to get the free, printable grocery list!

Here is a list of the “Getting in Shape” Posts in order, if you need to go back:

Getting In Shape Part 1

Getting in Shape part 2

Getting in Shape Part 3

Follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook where I will be sharing tips, hacks, pics of my own meals, my Fitness Pal set up and everything I can possibly think of to help you succeed!

Cheers!

Melissa