Article by Ceri Wheeldon
Since turning 50 I have become more aware of how the lifestyle I lead today, will impact the quality of life I live later down the line – assuming I am lucky enough to live to a ripe old age!
Not only have my energy levels dipped in recent years – (although some who have likened me to a Duracell Bunny might see that as a good thing) – I have also found my ability to concentrate for long periods of time has been affected and I tend to need more frequent breaks from my desk. Even so, my life is busier than ever! Funnily enough – this is quite common for someone of my age. Research by Nestlé Health Sciences reveals that today’s 50+ gen is planning on travelling more, taking up hobbies and learning new skills. You must wonder how we pack it all in!
However, I for one can no longer burn the candle at both ends. I had friends over just last week – time flew by as we chatted and the ‘evening’ ended at 2:30 am! This is the sign of a good night, but none of us felt human for at least 2 days after and so we had to rearrange our Sunday plans! A far cry from when we were tireless in our 20s!
Since my late twenties, I have followed a reasonably strict but balanced diet to manage a chronic illness. However, this does mean eliminating certain food groups – I eat no red meat, and fewer grains and green vegetables than most people. This means that I must make sure that I think about my protein intake for bone and muscle health, and sources of iron and vitamin B to keep up my energy levels, especially as getting the right balance of nutrients is crucial for women of a certain age to enjoy an active lifestyle.
Needing more protein as you get older
Interestingly, I recently read that we need to be upping our protein intake because as we get older, our body uses protein, vitamins and minerals differently we need to make sure we have enough of these nutrients in our diet to support good health and ensure we can cope with our busy lives!
Research by Nestlé Health Science shows that almost 80% of the 50+ generation are completely unaware of their changing nutritional needs, and only 23% are aware that they need more protein in their diet than when they were younger. But looking after your body doesn’t have to be difficult, one easy way to boost our intakes is to make sure our snacks- as well as our meals- contain plenty of protein, as well as a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
Nadia Sawalha is another fab woman in her 50s who has been working with a lovely new product called Meritene to produce a range of tasty and super easy recipes to show our generation how to get the best out of life. Meritene is a range of nutritional shakes and soups which contain a blend of high quality protein, 10 vitamins and 6 minerals which have been specifically designed to help release energy and reduce tiredness, while supporting muscle and bone health.
I recently tried Nadia’s Sexy Seafood Soup recipe which is delicious! You simply add Meritene at the end to give yourself those extra nutrients you need and there you have it! This recipe is also totally versatile. You can swap around the base ingredients depending on your mood. I sometimes swap the prawn base for thinly sliced chicken if I fancy something different. I’ve also added this with Thai fish sauce and a little bit of brown sugar for a bit of a twist.
See here for the full recipe and Nadia’s other recipe suggestions.
SUPER SEXY SEAFOOD SOUP
- 65g rice noodles
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 75 litres fish or vegetable stock
- 60g creamed coconut
- 2 sachets of Meritene STRENGTH & VITALITY vegetable soup powder
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 kefir lime leaves (optional)
- A handful of basil
- A handful of mint
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3cm piece fresh grated ginger
- 1-2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 125g bean sprouts
- 150g peeled prawns
- a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- Cook the noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water, then set aside
- Cut the chilli in half, discard the seeds and cut into very fine strips
- Bring the stock to the boil then stir in the coconut cream until it’s dissolved
- Add the lime juice and put the saucepan to one side.
- Finely chop the kefir lime leaves if you’re using them (go on use them!)
- Divide the basil and mint between 2 of your loveliest bowls.
- Heat the coconut oil in a wok or large saucepan. Stir in the chopped ginger and garlic and fry for a minute. Now add the chopped lime leaves, sliced chillies and beansprouts. Stir for 1-2 mins.
- Now pour in hot vegetable stock, and stir in the cooked noodles. Bring the mixture up to bubbling, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the prawns. Taste and season. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Add the contents of two sachets of Meritene STRENGTH & VITALITY vegetable soup powder into 150ml of warm water (max 60’C) into a dish. You need to make sure to boil your kettle well in advance and leave it to cool for 20 minutes so that the water is warm but not too hot as it’s important not to destroy the nutritional properties of the product.
- Stir vigorously until completely dissolved then stir into the soup
- Finally, roughly chop the coriander leaves and add to the soup. Divide the soup between the two bowls