This Month’s Theme: Strength in Yoga and How to Eat for Strength

Jan 5, 2023 | Protein, Strength

HAPPY 2023! Let’s get strong this year!!

Note: I had some technical issues yesterday, which is why you’re getting the newsletter today instead of your regular Wednesday. The universe is already trying to keep us on our toes for the new year!

One inspiring cue:

WARRIOR THREE WITH WEIGHTS
Hold two 8lb weights, one in each hand. Come into Warrior Three with your arms perpendicular to your torso so your hands are aiming towards the floor. Staying neutral in your spine, pull your elbows up until your hands are at hip level. Repeat 8-12 times.

Why?
Warrior Three helps to strengthen the posterior chain of the body. By adding weights, you are increasing the load through your whole back. Keeping your posture muscles strong is especially important not only as we age, but for some people who have osteopenia or osteoporosis.

One inspiring tip:

If you’re not used to using weights, start with 2lb weights in each hand (or none at all) and work progressively up to the 8lbs over time. if you’re in a yoga class and not using weights, try extending your arms out to the sides like you’re flying (feeling your mid-back engage) and work up to the arms forward and parallel to the ground (traditional Warrior Three). This will add more load to the posterior chain and help build strength. Listen to your body and increase weight/load over time. Feeling strong feels good!

One inspiring song:

“Waves” by Young Jing, Bo Degas

One inspiring quote:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing the world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
– Neil Gaiman

Nutrition nugget:

FOODS THAT KEEP YOUR MUSCLES STRONG!

This week I’ll cover protein sources and in my following newsletter, I’ll cover complex carbohydrates. Both are important for strength. If you’d like to read more about the importance of protein and complex carbs, click here for an article that sums it up nicely.

In a nutshell, we want to consume complex carbohydrates and protein to build and keep our muscles strong. I know Keto diets are all the rage right now, and while keeping our blood sugar stable by not eating too many carbs is important, a combination of complex carbs and protein is the best way to build and keep strength for most people. The Keto way of eating is a much bigger conversation, and it does have benefits for some people. If you follow me regularly, you know I am all about balance. I also believe in keeping net carbs between 35-100 grams/day, depending on your goals. I am always happy to do a private session to help you figure out the best plan for your personal goals.

Medical News Today says, “Protein and carbohydrates work together to keep your body healthy and functioning. The carbs you eat give you energy, while the protein builds muscles, skin, and hair. Both are needed in order to stabilize blood sugar and are best when eaten together. If your muscles are a house, protein is the bricks. The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of muscle. Your body can manufacture many of those amino acids, but nine are known as essential amino acids (EAA) because they can’t be made in the body. Instead, you have to consume EAA’s from food sources like meat, beans, nuts, and soy. A diet containing mixed amino acids can help maximize muscle protein synthesis.”

If you eat the same foods daily, you may want to mix them up (especially if you don’t eat meat). Unless you know the food you are eating is nutrient-dense and offers you all of the essential amino acids, eating protein from different sources will help ensure you get the nutrients your body needs.

How much protein should you be eating? There is no simple answer to this question since age, activity level, and intensity of exercise all matter. In a study performed by Medical News Today, “0.8-0.9 grams per pound of bodyweight was sufficient to see favorable changes in body composition.” Someone who weighs 150lbs would be looking at around 120-135g of protein per day.

Below you will find some protein recommendations. Keep in mind that pasture-raised and organic are always best. I have an article in my Instagram bio about the difference between organic vs. non-organic food sources, if you’d like to take a read. I also have many of my favorite nutrient-dense foods on my website under my SHOP page.

If you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, please eat pasture-raised meat and milk products. I think this is important for everyone, but if you’re looking to build bone health naturally, this is especially important. As I’ve heard many say, eating healthy costs a little more money, but getting sick is much more expensive. Just do what you can…and if you only buy organic 1/4-1/2 of the time, that’s a good start!

Eggs: about 7g of protein in a large egg. Eggs also contain the amino acid leucine, which research indicates is important for muscle synthesis.

Greek Yogurt: 3/4 of a cup of Stoneyfield Greek Yogurt has 16g of protein (on my SHOP page)

Turkey: one cup of chopped turkey has 37g of protein.

Cottage Cheese: Good Culture has 14g of protein per half cup (on my SHOP page).

Salmon: 3oz contains 20g of protein.

Edamame: 18g of protein per cup. Edamame is a complete protein and contains all of the essential amino acids. I buy the organic frozen edamame in the shell.

Tofu: around 12g for 3oz.

Seeds: A half cup of sunflower and pumpkin seeds has 14g of protein. It is believed if you eat sprouted seeds, you absorb more of the nutrients (on my SHOP page).

Lentils: 9g of protein per half cup and a range of amino acids (sprouted lentils are on my SHOP page).

Hemp Hearts: easy to add to a smoothie or sprinkle on a salad and they have 10 grams of protein per three tablespoons. Hemp seeds are a complete protein (on my SHOP page).

I wish you a very happy and healthy 2023! Let’s get stronger together!! Mix up your proteins, add weights to your workout routine at least twice a week, and focus on the good in life!