What can I eat to help me stay “toned” as I get older?
As a menopausal or peri- menopausal woman do you notice that you have less muscle tone than you had when you were younger? You are not imagining it. A decrease in muscle mass as we women get older is linked to the decline in estrogen in our bodies. It is also the reason we seem to gain weight more easily – our body composition has changed. Less muscle means we need less food. I for one am not happy to eat less food. I also do not want to look all floppy and old. Like me I’m sure you want to keep your body composition high in muscle as you get older.
One of the things we can do to help is to make sure we eat enough protein. Protein is necessary for building and maintaining lean muscle. Women over 50 should be eating 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight every day. So if you weigh 60 kilos that is up to 72 grams of protein a day.
Another way to look at it is to try to eat 20 to 25 grams of protein as part of every meal. Studies have shown that it is better to spread the protein out over the day rather than sitting down to a huge steak at night.
We have to make it easy to get that protein in. One of the things I do is to always make more than I need when I make a protein rich meal so that there is some left over for lunch the next day or maybe for lunch every day. Here is a great recipe that my kids love. I love it too because some of this mince the next day for lunch is filling, nutritious and helps me achieve my protein target.
Korean Beef Bulgolgi Mince
Mix 1 clove of garlic, a 5cm piece of ginger, 2 tbs soy sauce, 2 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil in a small bowl or jug.
Pour mix over 500 grams of beef mince and mix together with your hands. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Steam some broccoli florets.
Heat oil in a wok and add the mince mix until brown. Add the broccoli florets.
Finally add 3 or 4 spring onions (chopped) and 2 tsp of sesame seeds to the wok and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Serve with jasmine rice.
Make a double or triple quantity so you have some beef mince for the next day.