Older & Wiser with Sue Grant

Posts in the Weekly Blog category

"Ask Sue" - (2-Part) Exercising with Injury & Daily Meal Breakdown

Question: Good morning Sue.  I have 2 questions for you:

1). How would you suggest I continue exercising when I am suffering from hip bursitis and tendinitis in one arm/shoulder? I am 70 years old and have always exercised (your videos now but Leslie Sansone, Joyce Vedral, yoga, plus some balance ball, Jari Love, and HIIT). Right now I am doing some gentle walking videos plus MELT and other foam rolling.  I am basically healthy- most of my "issues" are structural so this is very discouraging.

2). You are so slim. Would you break down the type of meals you have over the course of a day. I am a healthy eater but can't lose that "last 10 pounds."

Thank You.

Answer:  Hi!  Thanks so much for your questions!   

OH!  I feel your pain and frustration with your bursitis and tendinitis!  Your joints might be happy exercising in warm water, but I’m not sure that’s a possibility for you where you live.  Have you been to a physical therapist? They might be able to help your “itis” issues heal faster.  If you do continue exercising on your own, you obviously need to have pain be your guide - don’t do ANYthing that hurts!  You can also try “tweaking” the plane of motion that you are moving - for example, if it hurts your hip to do a forward lunge, you could try tweaking that forward lunge to a diagonal lunge or a “rotational lunge” to see if  that helps.  Feel free to shoot me a private email if that does not make sense!

As for my meals - I’m so boring!  I eat lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, clean proteins, and stay clear of processed foods and added sugar.   Sodas are an obvious no-no, and I’m sure I bug people when I always say “no thank you” to dessert.   I fill up on delicious healthy food, but always stop eating when I’m full.   This is probably not news to you because it sounds like you are already a healthy eater.  It’s actually more important, health wise, to be active and fit rather than to stress too much about those pesky last 10 pounds.  Keep moving as much as your hip and shoulder will allow, and enjoy your healthy food and active life!

 

 

Sue Grant holds numerous certifications within the health and wellness industry.

  • Certified as a personal trainer by the ACE
  • Certified as a Master Instructor for the FallProof Program
  • Certified by the Arthritis Foundation
  • Certified in Older Adult Fitness by the American Institute of Fitness Educators

Sue has also studied personal training and group fitness through U.C. San Diego’s Fitness Professional Certificate program. Click here to find her collection of DVDs.

The Surprising Benefits of Colorful Produce!

I just read a fascinating article about the benefits of colorful produce in one of my favorite health publications –  Berkeley Wellness.  I don’t pretend to be a registered dietitian, but I thought you might enjoy reading about the unique benefits we get from different colors of fruits and vegetables.  For the details, I encourage you to check out Berkeleywellness.com.

We all assume that colorful fruits and vegetables are “good for us,” but it’s fun to learn about each individual color’s specific benefits.  Here goes!

RED

Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon and guava contain something called lycopene, a red pigment.  Lycopene may inhibit the growth of cancer cells in various ways.  Who knew?

RED, PURPLE AND BLUE

Blueberries, strawberries, beets, eggplant, red and blue grapes, red cabbage, plums, red apples and cherries contain potent antioxidants that provide a reddish blue color.  These antioxidants may help protect against heart disease.  What a delicious way to keep your heart healthy!

ORANGE

Acorn and butternut squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, apricots, carrots, mangoes and cantaloupe contain alpha and beta carotene, which provide an orange color.  As an antioxidant, beta carotene helps mop up free radicals that may promote cancer.  Alpha carotene intake has been linked with a reduced risk of various cancers, including lung and cervical cancer.  Go, carotenes!

ORANGE-YELLOW

Peaches, oranges, tangerines, nectarines and papayas are rich in beta cryptoxanthin.  (I have no idea how to pronounce that……).  But it must be great, because in addition to acting as an antioxidant, this pigment may help suppress the growth of tumor cells, as in cervical cancer. What’s not to love?

YELLOW-GREEN

Corn, cucumbers (with skin) green beans, green peas, yellow and green peppers, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, romaine lettuce and spinach contain lutein and zeaxanthin,  two carotenoids that seem to protect eye  health.  They may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which can cause loss of vision.  So much for our outdated assumption that only carrots that are good for our eyes!

So, think COLOR when you shop for and eat produce!  The darker and richer the colors, the better.   Pale plant foods such as bananas, pears, and cauliflower also have their share of phytochemicals, and well and vitamins and minerals, so don’t feel like you have to eliminate them from your diet.  But after learning about the impressive benefits of each color, you’ll want to include highly colored produce in every meal and snack.  Enjoy the colorful spectrum!

 

Sue Grant holds numerous certifications within the health and wellness industry.

  • Certified as a personal trainer by the ACE
  • Certified as a Master Instructor for the FallProof Program
  • Certified by the Arthritis Foundation
  • Certified in Older Adult Fitness by the American Institute of Fitness Educators

Sue has also studied personal training and group fitness through U.C. San Diego’s Fitness Professional Certificate program. Click here to find her collection of DVDs.

2 Surprising Myths About Fat That'll Make You Rethink Your Diet

Fat Chance!  I just read a fascinating article by registered dietitian Matthew Kadey in the June 2019 issue of Idea Fitness Journal concerning  some common myths and realities about fat in foods.  You might be surprised  by these findings– read on!

The Myth:  Fat-Free or Low Fat is Healthier

The Reality: The low fat-craze led to the formulation of thousands of lower-fat products, from yogurt to cookies.  However, fat tastes good, so when it is removed or reduced from a food, it loses a lot of its flavor.  To make up for this loss of flavor, manufacturers often add artificial flavors, salt, and sugar –not exactly a nutritional bonus!
Bottom Line: As long as you don’t overindulge, it’s better to enjoy foods in their natural, full-fat state.

 

The Myth:  Coconut oil is a “Super-food”

The Reality:  Often demonized for its upper-high saturated fat content (91% of its calories) coconut oil has experienced a renaissance.  Its supporters claim that it can help with building muscles, losing weight, improving heart, liver and kidney helps, and even taming frizzy hair! 
But coconut oil is not nearly the health boosting, fat-fighting miracle that its fans want it to be.
“There’s no strong evidence directly tying coconut oil either to a greater or reduced risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Patrick Wilson, RD, PhD, assistant professor of exercises at Old Dominion University.
Officials at the American Heart Association still say we should steer clear of coconut oil, citing concerns about its potential impact on cardiovascular health (Sacks et al.2017).
Bottom Line:  If you like the flavor or the moistness it adds to baked goods, it’s probably fine to include modest amounts (no more than a tablespoon daily) as part of a healthy eating plan.

 

I’ll continue to keep you updated as more research is published about health and nutrition.  In the meantime,  keep moving, and keep enjoying your unprocessed, natural foods!

Sue Grant holds numerous certifications within the health and wellness industry.

  • Certified as a personal trainer by the ACE
  • Certified as a Master Instructor for the FallProof Program
  • Certified by the Arthritis Foundation
  • Certified in Older Adult Fitness by the American Institute of Fitness Educators

Sue has also studied personal training and group fitness through U.C. San Diego’s Fitness Professional Certificate program. Click here to find her collection of DVDs.

Added Sugar, Added Risk: The Bitter Truth Masked By Sweetness

Do you remember your parents lecturing  you not to eat too much sugar because it would lead to obesity or dental cavities?  They were right – these health concerns have been scientifically confirmed.

But Wait!  There’s More!

New meta-studies have shown that added sugars (like sucrose and  high-fructose corn syrup) to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes, abnormal lipids and hypertension.  These sugars, which are slipped into muffins, ice cream, soft drinks, and so many other products during processing are a real cause for concern.  The good news is that the naturally occurring sugars in fresh fruit are not a problem.

Cardiovascular Disease:

CVD risk becomes elevated once added sugar intake surpasses 15% of daily calories. To help put that math into real-life terms, this means that your risk for CVD will increase if you drink more than 7 sugar sweetened beverages a week.  Even worse, the CVD mortality risk increases with an increase in sugar intake. 

Type 2 Diabetes:

Habitual consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is independently associated with a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes.   Again, the data also supports the recommendation to consume a wide variety of fruits, which have naturally occurring sugars and have not been linked to the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Blood pressure and blood lipids:

Randomized controlled trials have shown an association between higher intakes of sugar and harmful increased concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL (low density lipoproteins) cholesterol and blood pressure.  The researchers explain that consumption of fructose in sugar sweetened beverages increases liver fat synthesis, which results in higher concentrations of circulating triglycerides and cholesterol. 

How much is too much sugar? 

The American Heart Association recommends that adult females consume less than 6 teaspoons, or about 25 grams of sugar daily.  Adult males should consume less than 9 teaspoons, or 38 grams of sugar daily. 

“But I love my diet coke!”

The negative health risks of consuming  too much added sucrose and fructose clearly indicate that we should eat whole foods, as opposed to processed foods, as much as possible. However, going “cold turkey” can seem like a grim proposition.  Keep in mind that small changes can make a difference.  Cutting back on sugar sweetened beverages will help.  Check the nutrition labels on your favorite yogurt and breakfast cereal. I was shocked to see that my beloved granola has 15 grams of sugar in a single serving!   (I found a much lower sugar cereal instead and have added a piece of delicious fresh fruit to my breakfast routine – very satisfying!)

Be mindful about the added sugars in everything you eat, including sauces, salad dressings, crackers and bread.  You probably won’t be able to avoid all sugar sweetened products, but if you start limiting them in your daily diet, you’ll be much better off.

Just think of the lectures our parents could have delivered if they knew then what we know now about sugar!       

Sue Grant holds numerous certifications within the health and wellness industry.

  • Certified as a personal trainer by the ACE
  • Certified as a Master Instructor for the FallProof Program
  • Certified by the Arthritis Foundation
  • Certified in Older Adult Fitness by the American Institute of Fitness Educators

Sue has also studied personal training and group fitness through U.C. San Diego’s Fitness Professional Certificate program. Click here to find her collection of DVDs.

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