- Women’s Health
- Healthy Living
- Health Conditions
- Nurse Barb
“This tastes like a milkshake!”
I overheard this comment after providing bottles of Boost to my friends Sean and Cal who are mountain bikers. They were surprised by how great it tastes and asked for more.
As we talked about how to stay healthy after 50, Sean related that he had just read about the importance of having protein both before and after a ride. This is something that athletic trainers and coaches have known for years. During workouts, our muscles undergo changes as the protein fibers break down preparing for new muscle fibers, made of protein to be added.
The amount of breakdown and repair depends upon the intensity of the workout. A person doing yoga would need a different amount of protein than someone who lifts weights. What is constant though is the muscles’ need for more protein to have available for recovery and repair.
Protein before and after a workout
It’s difficult imagining having a steak before or after a big workout. It’s just too heavy for the stomach and would stop your momentum and ability to move freely. The key is to find something that won’t make you feel heavy and bloated.
It’s not just protein though. Our bodies need calcium and other nutrients to function at our best. That’s where Boost comes in. With 20 grams of protein, 26 essential vitamins and nutrients, plus 35% of the daily requirement for Calcium, it’s a nutritional supplement that also tastes great. How much protein do you need?
This link will direct you to a protein calculator that factors in your weight, height, exercise levels and your gender.
Hidden benefits of protein
As we celebrate birthdays past 50, exercise and maintaining our muscle mass is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Here’s a few hidden benefits of keeping our muscles strong and healthy that many of us forget:
What kind of exercise is best?
Everyone is different, so what I recommend as the best, is the one that you enjoy and will do regularly. Whether it’s walking or tennis, swimming or a dance class, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is being active for at least 30 minutes each day and finding ways to get some resistance or weight training too.
One of the easiest ways to do that is doing pushups or planks. True confession here: When I first started doing planks, I could barely survive holding it for 10 seconds, now with practice, I’m over 1 minute and I can do 2!
There are a lot of people who are in much better shape than I am, but I’m moving, doing squats, planks, hiking the hills around my house and enjoying my Boost chocolate mocha with coffee in the morning and some Strawberry boost as a snack in the afternoon.
What else to look for
In my busy life, I’m always open to using hacks and tips to optimize my day. I like Boost because I can slip it into a purse, gym bag or backpack and take it with me. Right now, I’m really enjoying the Strawberry flavor. It’s just the right amount so that I don’t feel overly full, but after drinking it, I also don’t feel hungry. The taste is yummy and the protein helps me feel satisfied.
My Mom Loved Boost®
Like many health care providers, I have been recommending and relying on Boost® as a nutritional supplement for friends, family and patients when they are sick and unable to eat. My mom was battling a late stage cancer and was very tired and unable to enjoy her grandchildren and the friends who would come to visit.
To help her regain some much needed energy, her hospice doctor recommended Boost®. I bought a few different flavors and very gently suggested that she try it. At first she was hesitant to try it because she thought it would taste like the nutritional drinks she had in the hospital. I coaxed her, very gently of course because she was very feisty and wanted to maintain her independence in everything including what she ate and drank. She did agree to try just one sip and once she tasted it, she smiled, winked at me and kept on drinking the container.
She loved the various chocolate flavors and the strawberry so to mix things up a bit, I would pour a some Boost® into small cups and add a popsicle stick to make frozen treats for her. She loved sharing these with the grandkids, who vied for their favorite flavors.
My mom’s nutrition was directly related to how much energy she had for the family and so Boost became part of our daily routine. I’m very grateful for her experience because there were not a lot of nutrient dense foods that she liked and foods with a lot of protein left her feeling bloated and heavy. Luckily, she liked the taste and she felt better when she had better nutrition, so we were able to enjoy our time with her.
Disclosure: I’ve been recommending it for years to friends, family and anyone who need to improve their nutrition. And now I’m proud to be an official partner of the BOOST brand.
Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Boost® to discuss ways people over 50 can improve their nutrition with protein, calcium and high quality nutrients for active lifestyles.
As a women’s health care provider, I am always talking to women about optimizing their health by getting enough of the nutrients, calcium and protein their bodies’ need. Many are so busy living their lives that healthy nutrition is often overlooked, and yet a healthy body starts with plenty of sleep, good nutrition and a balance between work and play.
Our Bodies and Muscles Need Protein
Many women are surprised to learn that their bodies’ need for protein may increase as they age. That’s right! After age 30, everyone, yes everyone, starts to lose lean muscle mass. It’s estimated that people lose 3-5% of their muscle mass each decade. That means by age 50, a person may have lost 10% of their lean muscle mass. As people head toward their late 60’s and 70’s the muscle loss accelerates from a number of factors.
It’s much worse for people who are inactive, and less of an issue for people who stay active. While resistance training and more strenuous activities will help preserve and increase muscle mass, any exercise, from swimming and cycling to attending a dance class and walking will help. Weight training, yoga, Pilates and resistance training are also key to keeping lean muscle mass.
Here’s a few secrets:
Enjoying Life to Its Fullest
Virtually everyone I talk to wants to live their lives to the fullest, especially as they pass those milestone birthdays after 50. Many people are seeing friends or family who are not able to do the things they enjoy and they then become even more determined not to let that happen. The people I talk to have no intention of slowing down, in fact, they are often more active and planning more fun activities than ever before. People know that being healthy is the only way they’ll be able to enjoy the things that have meaning for them.
What About Nutrition?
One concern that I hear all the time, is that our busy lives make it difficult to get the recommended 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits each day, plus adequate calcium for healthy bones and 3 servings of protein, and do all of this without gaining weight. Oh yes, and make time to shop for healthy foods and cook. If it seems overwhelming and like too much to even contemplate, let alone do every day, you’re not alone, because I hear this from patients every day, who ask for tips and advice.
A High Protein Nutritional Drink
As a nurse practitioner, I have been recommending Boost® to my family, friends and patients for years. I think a lot of people look at Boost and think of it as something that’s reserved only for people who have health issues or who are recovering from an illness. The truth is, Boost is a healthy nutritional option for many people at various ages and stages of life for many reasons. I drink it myself, because I like the taste, and with Boost® High Protein drink, I know I’m getting 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including 35% of my daily requirement for Calcium plus 20 grams of protein. (link to client’s choice of websites)
How much protein do you need every day? This is a good question, because unlike many other nutrients that your body can store, we need to get protein every day. I used the protein calculator on the Boost.com website (link here: https://www.boost.com/protein-calculator ) to calculate my daily need for protein. At my height and weight, for my activity level, I need about 80 grams of protein a day.
This might be my typical protein intake for a day:
1 large egg: 6 grams of protein
1 ounce of cheese: 7 grams
1 cup of yogurt : 10 grams
¼ cup of almonds: 7 grams
3 ounces of fish: 17 grams
Grand total: 47 grams
Gosh, even if I have an extra egg, and more cheese, I’m not even close. And, like most of my patients, weight gain from eating too many calories is a concern. That’s why having a convenient, tasty, high protein nutritional option, like Boost can make all the difference when looking for ways to increase protein.
What Works for Me
I like the taste of Boost. I add a half a bottle of Boost’s High Protein Rich Chocolate to my morning coffee, and now I have my Boost Mocha! It tastes great and means I’m getting at least 10 grams of protein every morning. I take the rest of the bottle in my purse and usually finish it during my commute or have it with lunch.
I have patients who drink Boost before or after a work out. One told me that Boost tastes just like a milkshake and she/he (depending upon the photo) likes knowing she/he can get the protein and nutrition she/he needs without the heaviness of a big meal. Another friend who mountain bikes downs a Boost before long afternoon rides on the trails.
When it comes to enjoying a healthy, active lifestyle at any age, and especially after 50, having optimal nutrition, plenty of protein to maintain muscle mass and strength combined with regular exercise are the keys that will keep you moving in the right direction.
Disclosure: My mom’s doctor recommended Boost® for her nutrition, which is when I started drinking it too. I liked the taste and would pour Boost® into little cups, add a popsicle stick and make frozen treats for her. I’ve been recommending it for years to friends, family and anyone who need to improve their nutrition.
Thanksgiving is upon us!
Maybe you’ve already started a healthy eating plan, which may be known by others as a DIET, which I sometimes refer to as a 4 letter word.
After all, this is holiday is only once a year event, but it is completely food focused. If you’ve been working out more and watching what you eat, you might be somewhat reluctant to see all the hours of gym time, the sweaty towels, memories of iPod playlists and smaller healthier portions erased by one afternoon of carbohydrate loading and fights over who gets the last drop of Aunt Matilda’s gravy.
What’s your favorite food?
If like me, you’re trying to be healthier and drop a few excess pounds, you really have to ask yourself a few questions before Thanksgiving.
It’s all about the choices?
Can you eat a dinner roll on other days? Sure you can, so if you’re concerned about your weight, I’d skip the bread, and have stuffing instead. (hey that rhymes)
Cranberry sauce and stuffing may be your favorites, and they aren’t available throughout the year, so maybe you’ll have those instead of the a mountain of mashed potatoes? Just some suggestions, you’ll figure out what will work for you.
Again, it depends on what they are. If you’re looking at a vegetable tray, please dive in and fill up. If it’s cheese and crackers, maybe save the calories for a yummy desert.
Do you love pumpkin pie, but hate the calories? Skip the crust. Or if you’re the pastry chef, or in charge of dessert, bake some of the pumpkin filling in ramekins along side the pie and top with whipped cream and violá, pumpkin pie without the guilt.
Guilt Free Zone
Love it? Go ahead and enjoy every bite. The idea is to savor the food and take your time to taste it.
What do you love on Thanksgiving?
This is the beauty of Thanksgiving. Sharing food is a wonderful way to express our love and appreciation for one another, being with friends and family and giving thanks. And staying mindful of our choices ahead of time, will help us all feel more in control, less bloated and overstuffed later and help us have enough energy for a walk or a game of football.
Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
By Nurse Barb Dehn
Disclosure: I was invited to attend an event about IBS-D by Salix Pharmaceuticals and am working with them to help get information out about how to talk about IBS-D symptoms and treatment options. Salix provided me with a stipend and paid for my travel and accommodations related to the event; however, all opinions are my own.
I really like this photo of models who’ve had their tummies painted to represent what it’s like to have Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). Between the cramping, bloating, pain and let’s face it, the frequent and unpredictable trips to the bathroom, if you have IBS-D, this might be exactly how you feel.
Could you have IBS-D? Take Nurse Barb’s Quiz
If you answered yes to these questions, then you should talk to your healthcare provider and ask if you could be like the up to 16 million Americans with IBS-D. Your HCP should evaluate your clinical history, perform a physical examination, ensure diagnostic criteria for IBS-D are met and that alarm features are absent before making a diagnosis.
Experts weigh in on IBS-D – It’s unpredictable
Recently I attended an informational event with Dr. Mark Pimentel, Executive Director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Pimentel explained that living with IBS can be enormously frustrating and that people with IBS-D don’t often know when they’re going to need to visit the bathroom, which can cause people to limit their lives for fear of not being able to find a restroom.
Imagine getting up and not knowing if you’ll visit the bathroom once or let’s say 12 times that day and not knowing when the urgent need to use the restroom will come up.
If you have IBS-D, then you don’t have to imagine this, you may know what it’s like to not know when you have stop what you’re doing and find a bathroom––Quickly. No wonder people start to stay home and skip doing the things they love.
And, despite a lot of well-meaning advice about what foods to eat and which ones to avoid, people with IBS-D may find that they are unable to predict if they will experience symptoms on any given day. It can be frustrating and depressing.
Quick Facts on IBS
• Some people with IBS experience constipation in more than 25% of bowel movements and diarrhea in more than 25% of bowel movements, this is known as mixed IBS.
What Causes IBS-D
– Aha! Could this information help us find effective treatments?
– Stay tuned.
Find a Gastrointestinal specialist
If you think that you might have IBS-D, then DO find a gastrointestinal specialist, known as a GI specialist, who has experience with IBS-D. Your primary care provider may not be as familiar with the latest research and treatments.
I know that this may be embarrassing to talk about, but the talk doesn’t have to be as uncomfortable as the symptoms. I really like this website: LetsTalk-2 that has resources and a list of questions for you to talk to your health care provider about.
My tips for preparing to talk to your health care provider about your symptoms
Questions about IBS-D for your health care provider
Treatment options for IBS-D
Dr. Pimentel presented data about a treatment option for IBS-D that has helped provide significant relief of both abdominal pain and diarrhea. Click here to learn more about an IBS-D treatment option.
Here are the facts:
Myth #1: All “Milks” are the Same
Myth #2 Milk is loaded with….. (more…)
Learn About Recovery Drinks and How to Help Prevent Broken Bones with Nutrition
It’s that time of year when fall sports season is in full swing. Between school teams, playoffs, tryouts, club teams, travel teams and year-round sports, our kids are more active now than ever.
I’ve been picking up my niece, Amanda, from high school lately and bringing her to soccer practices and games. One thing we keep in stock is plenty of milk for meals and snacks. She has been asking for her favorite chocolate milk for both pre and post games and practices.
The fact is, compared to adults, kids and teens are growing rapidly and have increased needs for high-quality nutrients that will serve their bodies well as they go through their teens, 20’s and beyond.
Why the Calcium in Dairy is so Important
Studies show that fewer kids are getting the recommended amounts of nutrients, especially those found in dairy. While it’s recommended that teens get 2-3 servings of calcium-rich dairy every day, less than half manage to get 1 to 2 glasses of milk per week. (more…)
This time of year many moms are busy in the stocking up phase, from gathering up school clothes and lunch boxes to helping their kids who are leaving home find a mini fridge for their dorm or apartment.
When my son was little, sure, I had the list of recommended notebooks, flashcards and markers, but I had to figure out the options for healthy lunches and snacks on my own. Then when he went off to college, my focus changed: What suggestions could I make, without nagging or being pushy, that would help him make healthy choices away from home?
It may be surprising to consider how many kids aren’t getting the recommended servings of dairy, fruits and vegetables every day just when their bones and muscles are growing the most. This is the time when their bodies need a variety of foods to get the essential vitamins, nutrients, protein and calcium necessary.
Since everyone is busy, I’ve gathered up a few tips here for healthy snacks, lunch box ideas and yes, even the mini fridge for moms with kids at every age and stage.
Disclosure: Guest Post by Rachael Gerkensmeyer
By taking the time to pre-plan and stock your fridge with healthy items for the ahead, you will likely find it’s much easier to adhere to a healthy lifestyle without feeling hungry and deprived throughout any given day. Modernize recommends stocking your fridge with the following 10 items to help ensure a full belly and a healthy body:
Consuming nuts on a regular basis provides protection from Alzheimer’s disease and helps to improve cognitive function. Nuts such as macadamias, pecans, and pistachios may even reduce the risk of developing heart disease and some cancers. Add them to salads or eat them by the handful! (Unless of course, if you’re allergic, then you know to stay away.)
Whole grains, like rolled oats, offer a myriad of health benefits to take advantage of such as optimal weight control, blood sugar regulation, and a big dose of essential minerals. Toasted oats will help regulate your blood pressure levels and help you feel full throughout the day too.
Fresh Herbs (more…)
Did you read our 1st blog, Real, Sustained Weight Loss After the Holidays?
If you’ve found your motivation and you’re ready for more weight loss tips, here they are: