Let’s face it, men and women should be equal under the law, but they are not the same! Yes, there are obvious differences between men and women. We pee sitting down (or at least squatting). We get periods, bear children, and are uniquely “blessed” with perimenopause and menopause. Did you know that we metabolize food very differently from men? Did you know that we even taste food differently from men?
Guess what? We lose weight differently, too.
Staness Jonekos, an author, women’s health and empowerment advocate and one of the original executive producers who launched Oprah Winfrey’s first network, Oxygen Media, spent time researching these differences and pulled all of this fabulous info together for us in her latest new book, Eat Like a Woman.She teamed up with Dr. Marjorie Jenkins to medically review the Eat Like a Woman 3-Week 3-Step program. Dr. Jenkins refers to herself as a “womanologist” and is a 2013 Texas SuperDoc. She is a professor of medicine and associate dean for women in Health and Science at Texas Tech University Health Science Center, where she holds the J Avery “Janie” Rush Endowed Chair for Excellence in Women’s Health. She created the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at Texas Tech.
If you are like me, over your lifetime you have been on every diet in the book! I wish I had a dime for every pound I’ve lost and gained since puberty! It only took me close to 60 years to realize that dieting is OUT! Eating healthy is IN!
This is why Staness’ book jumped out at me! I like the way she thinks! No more diets….focus on a different eating lifestyle. Rather than grabbing the Snickers bar, grab a yummy 70% cocoa dark chocolate bar.
Week One of the program focuses on breakfast — the most often skipped meal for women but most essential meal of the day. When I eat breakfast, I feel and think more clearly! I am loving the mouth-watering recipes. (The book includes 50 recipes, by famous chefs and celebrities. Many of the recipes feature ingredients vital to women’s health, such as calcium, iron, zinc, folate and omega-3 fatty acids.)
Week Two moves onto lunch and dinner and why the “European” concept of making lunch your biggest meal benefits women. Week Three introduces the important life-changing concept SWEAT: Smart Women Exercise All the Time (love this!), teaching us how to eat before and after exercise and how to continue on the path to obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight for life.
I find there is a direct correlation between how I feel about myself and what I put in my mouth! Let’s stop eating our emotions and start eating to feel good! Without really dieting, you’ll see the pounds melt away and you’ll learn to understand the relationship between stress and your health, interpret the messages your body is sending you, and how to eat to support hormone balance and emotional health. The results?
- Drop those stubborn pounds
- Effortlessly maintain a healthy weight
- Change your relationship with food
- Reduce your risk of disease
- Slow the aging process
- Exercise smarter
The authors encourage women to rethink how they think about food, incorporating the latest science on sex-differences as motivation to practice a healthy lifestyle for each life stage. Here are a few of their tips:
- Embrace healthy carbs, which are digested slowly and make you feel fuller: whole grains, sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, beans, fruits, and vegetables. If you eat a “bad” carb, add some protein to balance the glycemic load.
- Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory benefits and helps fight fat storage. (I add a teaspoon each morning over my half a piece of toast – yum!)
- Incorporate high-protein foods in your “Menopause Makeover®”: turkey, protein shakes, Greek yogurt, tofu, eggs, edamame, nut butter, nuts and lentils.
- Banish belly fat: Limit intake of saturated and trans fat and cholesterol; adjust portion sizes; minimize consumption of beverages with alcohol, sugars and caffeine; limit salt and processed foods; quit smoking; take half home when dining out.
- Add fiber to your diet: apples, strawberries, blueberries, pears, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, oatmeal, oat bran, lentils, beans, zucchini, brown rice, barley, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, couscous, whole-wheat breads and cereals, seeds.
- Fight fatigue with small, frequent meals throughout the day (and, of course, get enough sleep!).
- Drink plenty of water — about 9 cups a day, depending on your activity level.
We don’t talk like men, dress like men, or think like men. Why would we eat like men? We CAN change those old habits that cause us to become members of the sisterhood of the shrinking pants. You don’t have to send yourself into a panic attack or hot flash. A few easy, healthy eating tips will do the trick and can be easily incorporated into your lifestyle. The results — more energy… more clothes that fit in your closet! Give it a whirl: Eat Like a Woman!!
Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!