Practical NOT Radical Nutrition in Your 40s with Amy Shapiro

EPISODE 3

I can't tell you how many fad diets I have tried. Staring at skinny Moms I know on Instagram and they're posting their shakes, bran crackers and whatever else they are doing. After many years, I discovered that none of that is me and none of that works.

Amy Shapiro
Amy Shapiro

Being healthy, enjoying food (I LOVE TO EAT) and just being confident in your body is the most important thing. I reached out to Amy when I was having a hard time with some health issues. She was practical, calm, understanding and the same age, so she just got it. Nutrition in your 40s isn't just about weight, it's also a mindset. So you need to be in the right place mentally to approach nutrition healthfully. Amy Shapiro of Real Nutrition NYC makes that possible...


Products Mentioned:

-Further Food Collagen https://shop.furtherfood.com/collections/collagen-collection -Nounos Yogurt https://www.nounoscreamery.com/


And remember: It's not a crisis!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Doryn Wallach:

Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode two of It's NOT A Crisis. I'm your host, Doryn Wallach. This is a podcast for women in their 40s who are navigating the joys and the challenges of midlife and learning to make the most of it.

First, I just want to say that I hope everyone is doing okay. This has been a crazy rollercoaster ride, and I know it will continue to be. I've really just come up for air for the first time and feels good to be doing something, but it's been difficult. I'm just very grateful to be healthy and that my family is healthy. I also just want to thank anyone who's listening that's an essential worker. Thank you so much for doing what you're doing and allowing us to stay home. We really appreciate it. I haven't had an opportunity to do my thank you’s, so hopefully, there's somebody listening that knows how grateful we are.

I also want to mention that you the listener has a very big part in this podcast. I do this because I want to give back to other women, so I want to make sure that this is the right place for you to be getting information. So, if you have anything that you want to discuss, please DM me on Instagram or Facebook. Feel free to comment in one of the posts, as well as email, itsnotacrisis@gmail.com, and please subscribe anywhere that you listen to podcasts. Your subscribing helps the podcast to be known to other women. So, it's really important you subscribe, you rate, you share, anywhere that you listen to podcasts. Also, you can find us on Instagram, It's Not A Crisis Podcast, or Facebook, same thing. We also have a private group. I would love you to join the group. We will use that place for discussions.


Amy Shapiro:

If we really put in an effort to eat really healthy, and nutritionally, and balanced, and to support our body throughout the day, there's always space for that indulgence.


Doryn Wallach:

Amy Shapiro is the founder and director of Real Nutrition, a New York City based private practice dedicated to healthfully and successfully guiding clients to their optimal nutrition, weight, and overall wellness. She is internationally recognized for her individualized lifestyle focused approach, which integrates realistic food plans, smart eating habits and active living. Through encouragement, education, and the right tricks of the trade, Amy believes that anyone can achieve their nutritional goals while still enjoying the foods and flavors that they crave.

It's always really important to me to let you guys know where I find my guests, because they have some sort of connection to me, I know who they are. And when I work with anybody, I'm extremely picky about who I work with and I do a lot of research, so I think it's only natural for me to bring you the best of the best, and hopefully I will continue to do that. I found Amy through my gynecologist when I was experiencing a little bit of a hormonal crisis this fall, and I really wanted to get my nutrition on track. And in such a vulnerable time in my life, Amy was wonderful, and accepting, and kind, and patient, and not extremist. She didn't scare me about nutrition, and I just thought that, especially during this time right now, she was the perfect guest to speak to all of us. I think we're a few weeks into this and our nutrition has probably been all over the map, and at the same time, we're still the age that we are, so we still have to pay attention. So, Amy, welcome to the show.


Amy Shapiro:

Thanks for having me. I'm so excited.


Doryn Wallach:

Before we get into what we're going to chat about, we were talking and we felt that it was impossible to just talk about being in your 40s and dealing with nutrition alone, because we are going through what we're going through, and there are a lot of new nutritional challenges that we're all facing, with the lack of food resources, and having the kids around, and trying to give everybody meals, and this person's picky, and this one doesn't like this, and that one loves this, and then just kind of taking care of yourself right now. So, I think we're going to talk a little bit about that, but also at the same time, we're still the age that we are, and nutrition has become more of a challenge as we get older.


Amy Shapiro:

Yeah, for sure. I do joke with some of my friends that if you have a birthday during quarantine, that it doesn't count, so maybe we're not really getting older.


Doryn Wallach:

I love that. I also think calories count, but we'll talk about that.


Amy Shapiro:

Right.


Doryn Wallach:

So, I want to start with this. Two sides to this. First of all, I think a lot of us, as we get older, are finding it harder to lose weight, and yet we have these hormonal fluctuations that are making us crave stuff that's bad for us. So, there's that component. And the second part of it is, I personally, in this quarantine, have gone through a range of issues with food. So, I have to be really upset to not eat because I love to eat.

So, for me, it started with not eating at all, I couldn't even look at food. And then I started to buy like 80s crap, just comfort foods from your childhood, then I went into that stage. Then I started to feel gross and wanted to eat better but was a little overwhelmed with the day to day because I'm trying to pack in grocery deliveries, as well as ordering stuff on Amazon, and then it just looks like a whole mess of things. And personally, I'm not that person that can creatively put things together. It's just not me. So, I think that's where I've been struggling, is just trying to figure out the next meal and then ultimately ends up, I just don't eat. So, I would like to get your thoughts on that and what you've even seen with your own self and family.


Amy Shapiro:

Yeah. It's a lot. I mean, it's a lot and there's a lot of feelings, and there's a lot of feedings, and there's a lot of emotions, and so I don't think there's an easy solution for anyone. I think now that the "hoarding period," I think has passed, where we all were just stocking up on dry goods we've never cooked before just in case we couldn't get to a supermarket, I think that period has kind of passed, and in most neighborhoods, you can probably get some food and Amazon has more food. But it's challenging to stock up on all the things that we usually recommend to stock up on, a lot of fresh foods, fill half your plate with vegetables at every meal, have lean, healthy, clean, organic, grass-fed proteins.

These things aren't always accessible now, and even myself, I'm finding myself just saying, "I don't even know what label chicken cutlets this is, but it's here, so I'm going to get it." So, I think part of it is really prioritizing what's going to keep you sane. How can you feed yourself and your family in an easy, ideally, healthy-fashion, but also kind of stock your house with staples.

So, I think it's really just getting the basics. It doesn't have to be gourmet. Some people are gourmet. I had a great friend email me that she was making quail the other day, or pheasants. And I was like, "Great, I'm grilling some chicken again." But I think stocking your house with some things that can make a meal. So, it would be some lean proteins. That can include anything from your pantry, like lentils, and garbanzo beans, it can be chicken, it can be yogurt, and then having some vegetables, fresh or frozen, or having some fruit, and then having some sort of a whole wheat slice of toast, if you can find it, or some grains. So, I really think it's just kind of looking at the basics and making sure that you have something to put together. I don't even know if that answers your question because there's just so much going on around all of this.


Doryn Wallach:

Just to step back a little bit, what are things that we should be incorporating in our lives? Pretend this is not happening right now, and then I have a follow up question for that. But in our 40s, nutrition changes. I don't want to be deprived of things I love, and I used to like going to restaurants, but that's gone. I still want to be able to indulge in things, and I think for me, and I think we talked about this when we met, there's this anxiety or this all or nothing thing that when I start eating healthy, I feel guilty if I eat something else. But I want to know what we're supposed to be eating at this stage of our lives, and how much we're supposed to be eating, and realistically, when we can indulge.


Amy Shapiro:

So, I think that it really depends. First, let's like talk to me indulgent part, because I think that it depends on what do you as an individual feel or crave as an indulgence, right? So, some people want to indulge in alcohol, some people want to indulge in pasta, some people want to indulge in chocolate, so it really depends on that. And I think at the time like this, or anytime no matter how old you are, I think there's space for indulging lightly, not overeating, but really having what you love every day. I think that it just comes with balancing out, "Am I having everything that I love at the same time or am I choosing to have one thing that I really love today and tomorrow's another day?"

So, I think that's kind of where indulgences can get people into trouble or can make them feel guilty, is kind of when they're saying like, "Well, this is all or nothing, and now I'm indulging in my thing, and I got to do it all right now," or saying, "I'm going out to dinner," back in the day, "and I want to indulge in a couple of glasses of wine, because it makes me feel great, and I really love that, and I'm going to edit a few other things out of my meal so I can really indulge in that thing." So, I think it's important to kind of hone in on what you truly want to indulge in in that moment. Does that make sense?


Doryn Wallach:

Yes, that does make sense, and I think that's kind of what I do. Yesterday, all I wanted was brownies. Actually, instead of making them, which I even have a box, I ordered brownies online from this place that I really liked their brownies. So, I ate really healthy all day knowing that I was going to have that brownie after dinner.


Amy Shapiro:

Yeah. And also, though, if you're indulging, it should be you are worth the best, right? So, if you're going to indulge, it's great that you didn't make the box brownie because you wanted this great place's brownie, and that is truly an indulgence. You're indulging yourself, and you're indulging your taste buds, and you're having something that's worth it. So, I think that's also a really important component, because it's easy to eat the brownie that you make for your kid that's stale for two days in your kitchen because you're walking through, or you're consciously saying like, "Woof, I really want that brownie. I'm going to order it and I'm going to have it."


Doryn Wallach:

But the box brownies are so good.


Amy Shapiro:

Right. True. But if they're around in the kitchen and they're not fresh and gooey anymore, you might still eat it because you're walking through and it's there. Whenever I talk to my clients about indulging, especially in your 40s, it's A, you're worth the best, so wait for something that's really worth it. Don't eat off of your kid's plate, don't have a bite of your kids crappy chocolate bar, really elevate. "What do I want? Because that's what I deserve." So, it's kind of when you indulge, you're making yourself feel good about it too, and I think that's important.


Doryn Wallach:

Yeah, I agree with that. Sorry. Go ahead.


Amy Shapiro:

I was going to say, and then also, it's how do we eat overall, which is the first question that you kind of tuned to, and if we really put in an effort to eat really healthy, and nutritionally, and balanced, and to support our body throughout the day, there's always space for that indulgence. I know we can get more into that, but it's also saying, taking the time to think about how you're going to set up your day as best as you can, especially right now, to allow for that indulgence, which might just be what you need at the end of the day, or in the middle of the day, or at homework time.


Doryn Wallach:

Yeah, exactly. So, just getting back to age, I feel like the most important thing for me with every passing year is keeping my blood sugar level throughout the day, and I used to not eat breakfast, and fast until two o'clock, and I know that works for a lot of people, for me, that just didn't work. I would be really irritable, and even doing it for a long term, it just wasn't feasible for myself. But I do feel like, though, that if I don't keep my blood sugar up, it affects me, like everybody, but it affects my mood, and it makes things harder.

So, with that being said, today, I feel like... I don't know, I feel like I'm busier now than I was before, in some ways, and then some days I find myself tapping my fingers on my desk like, "What do I do?" But I'm sure there are a lot of things I could be doing. How do you feel about that? I feel like you're not a big fan of snacking in between meals, if I remember correctly. Is that right?


Amy Shapiro:

Well, ideally what I try to set up for my clients is, you want to eat balanced meals so they can sustain your satiety for at least three to four hours between meals. And then I do usually recommend one snack a day, and that tends to be between lunch and dinner because that's a longer stretch than between breakfast and lunch usually for most people. Now, this isn't my recommendation, of course, when we're not stuck in our homes and have access to our pantries 24/7, but you might be eating dinner earlier now that you're home with your family and you don't have to get home from work.

So, if you are eating balanced and balancing your blood sugar levels, because that's what will control your hunger and your mood, then you should be able to go three to four hours between meals. So, snacking is optional. If you're not hungry then you don't have to have it, but I do recommend a snack in the later afternoon because, one, it helps that three or four o'clock slump that most people hit because their blood sugar is low, that's why you reach for that coffee, or that soda, or that candy at that time, but also it helps you to show up to dinner not ravenous, so you can mindfully go into dinner without overeating. So, I do recommend that afternoon snack to help you meet your goals and to power through the rest of your day.


Doryn Wallach:

What are super easy ideas for that snack?


Amy Shapiro:

So, that snack, to me, is usually anything from whatever fruit you can get your hands on these days, so let's say an apple with 10 walnuts, or it could be an apple with nut butter, if you have that in your pantry, because it is definitely shelf stable, it could be a cup of berries and a scoop of yogurt, it could be some rolled up turkey slices with carrots and celery. So, what you can hear me saying and all of these recommendations is you're going to be pairing some sort of carbohydrate, which is anything plant based, with a protein or fat to slow the digestion and to help your blood sugar to remain stable.

So, if you just had the apple by itself, which is a very healthy snack, you'd be hungry again in 45 minutes, because an Apple has natural sugars in it and it's the carbohydrates, so you digest it very easily and quickly. So, great, if you're eating it right before you go out to dinner, and you just want to curb your appetite, but if you need to sustain yourself for a couple hours, you're going to be starving in 45 minutes. Pair that Apple with a protein or a fat such as some nut butter, or some nuts, or some yogurt, you'll go longer because you'll slow down the digestion and you'll be able to withstand a couple hours. So, that's kind of your magic bullet for meals and snacks, it's just going to be the portion which really makes it different for what makes a meal and what makes a snack. But that's kind of the equation to help you sustain your energy.


Doryn Wallach:

It's funny. I always tell my kids to have an apple when it's getting close to dinner because I want them to eat their dinner and I know it won't fill them up, and they're like, "I don't want an apple, I want Cheddar Bunnies," or whatever they want.


Amy Shapiro:

Same difference, I mean not nutritionally, but they'll still be hungry.


Doryn Wallach:

Right. Exactly.


Amy Shapiro:

Yeah. I give my kids cucumbers. They love those mini Persian cucumbers, so I give them those right before dinner, because then it's like, A, I got the vegetables, and B, they're still showing up hungry. So, if you're "dieting," that's a great snack, but not by itself, because you too will be very hungry.


Doryn Wallach:

Right. By the way, the other advice that you gave me, which has been life changing for me is full fat yogurt as opposed to the low fat, and I was eating low or no fat for years, and then I started buying full fat, and it really makes a difference in how much it fills you up.


Amy Shapiro:

And it also makes a difference in what it tastes like, right? So, you and I and anybody listening to this probably grew up in the age of fat free, right? It's like an old habit just like cardio, excess cardio workouts. If you eat a fat free yogurt, you can eat so much more because you just don't get as full, but if you eat full fat, A, the mouthfeel is better, the texture is better, the taste is richer, and you just can't eat as much, and it's satisfying, right? The fat is there, along with the protein of the Greek yogurt, in this case, to really hold your appetite, because your body has to process the proteins and the fat, and that takes a long time.

Additionally, both protein and fat don't have any carbohydrates in them, so they don't manipulate your blood sugar levels at all. So, a half a cup of plain full fat Greek yogurt with some berries in it can possibly hold you for a good two to three hours.


Doryn Wallach:

I also put a little chia, a little flax, and some pecans. My husband doesn't. He puts sugary granola in his and he's like, "I'm still hungry." I'm like, "Well, you just don't put that in there. Put nuts or something else." I feel like that [crosstalk 00:18:54].


Amy Shapiro:

Yeah. But there's also that sweet flavor of the granola with sometimes your brain is like, "Ooh, I want more of that." Right? So, he's pairing it correctly because it's paired with the Greek yogurt, which has protein and fat in it, but it's that flip the switch craving where your brain is like, "Yum, more and more and more," whereas the chia, flax, and pecans, delicious, but more decadent, so you're kind of like, "I'm good."


Doryn Wallach:

Right. But it's actually vanilla yogurt, so there's sugar in it already, so it's probably not the best for him but it works. It's a good brand. It's Nounos. Have you ever had theirs?


Amy Shapiro:

Yeah, Nounos is good, and the portions are really small, they're very moderate.


Doryn Wallach:

Yeah. They actually ship, so they deliver out here, so-


Amy Shapiro:

Directly.


Doryn Wallach:

... you have to buy 12 of them, but they'll deliver right to your door.


Amy Shapiro: