Consuming one shake each day – made from freshly blended vegetables – can accomplish more than you might think.
Andropause refers to the health challenges a man faces as he ages and his hormone levels drop. An anti-inflammatory diet – including a daily green smoothie – can help mitigate andropause symptoms in mature men.
Symptoms associated with andropause include:
- insulin resistance
- low testosterone
- brain fog
- impaired circulation
- poor digestion
- and difficulty when trying to decrease stomach fat.
How to Age Manfully
If you are male and over 38, then you need to know what andropause is, and how to navigate it successfully:
- starting in his 20s, a man’s testosterone levels usually drop at least 1% each year
- andropause is kind of like menopause, only andropause is something that happens to men.
- it happens to men as they age when their testosterone levels begin dropping.
- it happens at different times (for some, age 38; for others, 55 – and everywhere in between).
- symptoms of andropause vary greatly. Some report having lower energy. Others feel their heart rate fluctuate.
- historically, men have been less inclined to share personal details about their journey into midlife.
- the medical community is still trying to understand andropause and there are differences of opinion about it.
- testosterone, and your own body’s ability to naturally produce it, is more precious to you than gold.
As You Get Older, It Matters Even More What You Eat
Improved nutrition is among the smartest interventions to combat accelerated aging.
A strategic part of an anti-inflammatory diet is the freshly made green smoothie.
However, green smoothies are often misunderstood and poorly made.
An effective green smoothie will have the correct ingredients in the correct ratios. In particular, a well-made green smoothie will contain very little sugar or fruit.
The way to age manfully is to face it square-on. No head burying in the sand; no thinking about it tomorrow. Man up, and think about it now:
- How do you want to age?
- How do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning 20 years from now?
- What’s your plan for aging?
If you’re a guy who is interested in successful, healthier-aging, your first step is to consult your healthcare professional and to allow yourself to be curious and proactive.
If you really want to improve your health, stop thinking of testosterone as just a sex hormone. It’s much more than that.
Imagine your body is like an iPhone:
- Living foods and exercise are like the iPhone’s battery.
- Testosterone is the reception.
- You wouldn’t want to build your house directly under a huge cell phone tower because that would be too much reception.
- However, if you don’t have enough reception, your iPhone won’t work well, or at all.
- Testosterone is like cell phone reception.
- You need enough to function optimally. But not so much that it fries you.
When we speak about aging we say things like, “after 40” or “after 50,” however when you look at the actual statistics (the Centers for Disease Control offer some fascinating data in downloadable spreadsheets, see Sources below) you discover that at age 45 is when statistically there is a significant jump in health challenges (particularly tumor diagnoses).
Many men wait until the first big problem presents itself before scrambling to put together a healthier plan to prevent accelerated aging.
Why not prevent disease outcomes, before they have a chance to manifest?
The best part of being an adult is the increased potential for self-awareness and serenity as you become older and wiser.
Successful aging is realized within your own ability and willingness to create abundant joy, meaning, prosperity and health in your everyday life.
Andropause, Men’s Health and How Men Age
Gerontology researcher William Faloon reports, “Human clinical studies confirmed [that] men with even slightly elevated estrogen levels doubled their risk of stroke and had far higher incidences of coronary artery disease. Men presenting with benign prostate enlargement or prostate cancer had higher blood estrogen levels (and often low free testosterone blood levels).”
If you are male and over the age of 38, then you need to know andropause is. Otherwise, when andropause happens to you, you won’t know what’s going on.
Mature Manhood: My Journey
Green smoothies are delicious and filling – and they can help you decrease stomach fat. I learned this from personal experience.
Here’s how it happened:
I was chubbier than I had been in my entire adult life.
Even pants in waist-size 36 were starting to feel too tight and uncomfortable.
I had thought that I was already eating kind of healthy – and I was exercising three times a week — so I was a little disappointed that I had so much fat and width in my midsection.
I was already familiar with the research that established a connection between an increased risk of mortality for every extra inch of waist size, so I definitely wanted to decrease stomach fat.
Around this time, I had to film a real estate video, and I tried to disguise how fat I was my untucking my shirt – see Before Photo below.
In Silver and Strong: Getting Fit After Age 50, I explain exactly how to craft a Fitness Comeback Plan that specifically meets the needs of your unique body and lifestyle.
Shortly after that, I heard about a family of four who was able to turn their health completely around by adding more raw foods to their daily diet.
So, I figured I would experiment with adding more raw foods into my daily diet, too.
Hey, it was worth a shot.
Before-and-After Photos of Fat Loss
I started with my morning protein shake.
I went online to see if I could find a recipe, and I happened upon a blog Vegan Lunchbox in which she described adding some frozen organic spinach to her morning blended beverage.
Spinach!? In a protein shake? I honestly hadn’t even considered that before.
So, even though I wasn’t a vegan and the website was for vegans, I tried adding just a little spinach to my next morning’s shake and, honestly, I couldn’t even taste it. I was surprised!
I also noticed that the energy I got from the shake was sustaining (no sugar-rush followed by a drop). Maybe I was onto something?
So I decided to start trying to add a little cucumber to each shake, too.
Again, I noticed a subtle, positive difference in how I felt after I drank it, as compared to my old shake recipe.
Now I was adding a bit of spinach and cucumber to each shake, each morning. I was kind of getting into it, so I upgraded from my $40 blender to a new Vitamix (which will blend practically anything).
A short time later, a friend of mine mentioned that she was seeing a naturopath who had helped her entire family become healthier – even their allergy symptoms were disappearing naturally.
I was intrigued, so I went and saw their naturopathic doctor and I learned that he referred to his morning blended as a “freshly made green smoothie” (not a “protein shake”).
The naturopath suggested I start experimenting with adding more vegetables of different types – including dark, leafy greens – and begin to gradually reduce the fruit.
He taught me how to pre-soak raw nuts and seeds to infuse my smoothies with more clean fat and quality protein.
That’s when things really began changing.
The funny thing is, I hadn’t truly noticed the extent to which the fat had been melting away until a friend used his smartphone to take some photos and video of me while I was exercising (SEE AFTER PHOTOS).
I started having fun experimenting with different ingredients. I’d go to the farmer’s market every Saturday morning and buy produce, come home and wash it all, dry it (in a salad spinner) and bag it in these mesh vegetable bags I bought online.
Then, throughout the week, I’d make fresh green smoothies. Always for breakfast (sometimes for lunch, too, and sometimes, for dessert – although, for dessert, I’d make them super thick and serve them in a bowl with crunchy toppings, like it was soft-serve ice cream or frozen yogurt.
On days when I also had a smoothie for lunch, I used different vegetables, fruits and nuts then I used in the morning smoothie so that my second smoothie of the day was always completely different from my first.
Well, that changed everything.
I continued dropping fat around my waistline and I started feeling stronger. I barely noticed I was losing weight because I was having such a good time seeing what my fancy new blender could do. I was starting to believe I could decrease stomach fat.
Because I started to feel better (my mind was more clear, my eyes were less puffy and red, and even my tongue looked brighter and less yeasty when I woke up each morning), I started adding an extra workout each week.
This happened naturally as a result of having more physical energy.
Also, to combat the sedentary effects of working in front of the computer all day (the downside to being a writer), I started to go for a short walk each evening right before dinner.
Slam cut to: today. I feel strong and lean and, at age 55, I feel healthier than I’ve ever felt before in my life.
How to Decrease Body Fat by Drinking Freshly Made Green Smoothies
A freshly made green smoothie each day will do wonders for your health. Green smoothies can help to detoxify your body while infusing its cells with nutrients.
Certainly, reducing calories will help you decrease belly fat.
Also, exercising more will help you lose stomach fat.
However, I also believe that when a person’s overall cellular health improves, then their metabolic system will also improve. And when metabolism is healthy, it makes it easier to decrease belly fat.
When you’re healthy, everything just works better.
The most challenging part for me in describing the power of green smoothies is trying to explain what they actually are and how they actually taste – because for many people (when they picture green smoothies in their mind), they imagine a canister of protein powder that you buy at the grocery store.
Green smoothies – though they may contain a bit of powder as one of many ingredients – are freshly made, loaded with real ingredients, and a full meal unto themselves.
Once you get the hang of making green smoothies they taste amazingly good (and, as one surprised and delighted fellow recently put it, “not like drinking Shrek”). You can actually feel the sustained energy “high” after drinking one. Green smoothies are crafted from raw foods and, over time, you will discover that they help your body to decrease stomach fat.
When I started drinking green smoothies, I wasn’t trying to lose belly fat, or any weight at all. I just wanted to be healthier, stronger, and have more energy.
I was thinking longterm – to get as many nutrients and superfoods into my body as I needed to feel fantastic, extend my lifespan, age successfully, and prevent illness.
But then, a funny thing started to happen: my waist started to shrink.
Fighting Andropause and Decreasing Stomach Fat
If my andropuase story intrigues you and you would like to experiment with a bit of green smoothie-making to see if you can lose belly fat, too, then I encourage you to go for it. However, I recommend that your emphasis be on improving your overall health.
Coming from a positive mindset of honoring your body will eventually help you more than just focusing on the cosmetic changes.
Save Time Making Fresh Green Smoothies So You Can Fight Andropause
Making a green smoothie doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive task as long as you have the right preparation.
Green smoothies are not that hard to make, though sometimes I find that early in the morning – when I’m groggy and without my wits (exactly when I don’t want to make a smoothie) – is when I benefit from a smoothie most. It’s as if I need a green smoothie just to give me the energy and alertness I need to make a green smoothie.
Basically, with time and practice, the process of making fresh green smoothies becomes faster and more fun.
Of course, to decrease body fat, you still can’t consume more calories in a day than you’re expending.
Terry Wahls – a medical doctor who specializes in reversing symptoms of accelerated aging, andropause, and autoimmune – prescribes up to 9 cups of vegetables a day in her anti-inflammatory Wahls Protocol.
Ask your own medical doctor how many vegetables are ideal for you and if freshly made green smoothies might be beneficial to the unique needs of your own body.
How to Food Prep Your Smoothies
The best way to approach this is to do some preparation for your green smoothie beforehand. It’s far easier to spend some time preparing your green ingredients once a week.
Every week I head to the farmers market to buy a week’s worth of produce. I pick up all my dark leafy greens: spinach, kale, arugula, swiss chard, parsley, sprouts and microgreens (along with celery, cucumbers, fruits, etc). I keep most of the ingredients in washable produce bags.
Washing Your Veggies
Back in the kitchen I wash the greens and put them in the salad spinner. Once dry, the greens are evenly placed in separate bags.
Fighting Andropause: A Week of Green Smoothies to Decrease Stomach Fat
Now, in anticipation of when I wake up, I’ve just simplified my steps: I pour one of the bags of “green leafys” into the blender, then add the extra ingredients – such as fruit, seeds or nuts, plant-protein powder, spices and ice. No thinking, no fuss, and best of all: no washing. I can start drinking my smoothie first thing in the morning and have a great start to the day.
Strategic nutrition can help lessen many of the undesirable symptoms associated with andropause.
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Additional Sources about Andropause:
Subcutaneous VS Visceral Stomach Fat – https://scienceblog.com/15764/subcutaneous-vs-visceral-fat-which-matters-most-when-battling-the-bulge/
Increased Vegetable Intake Proven to Decrease Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer – http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/96/21/1577.full
The Hormone Testosterone – http://men.webmd.com/testosterone-15738
Data on Typical Health Challenges by Age Group – http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/data/
Unbalanced Estrogen Levels Skyrockets Risk of Andropause and Degenerative Disease in Men – http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/5/Why-Estrogen-Balance-is-Critical-to-Aging-Men/Page-01