February Newsletter 2022


It’s always the month of love!

Traditionally, that’s been romantic love… amour! But this year, after being locked down for almost 2 years, we’re more aware of the many other loves in our lives: friends we may be missing, family across the country, our pets who keep us laughing, possibly even our fitness studio & trainer.

It’s not just for February, let’s let love and appreciation spill over into all parts of your life. Every month.


One Lifestyle Solution to Tackle Two Health Concerns

Estrogen tends to play a part in helping to protect women’s hearts. That’s why, when estrogen drops with the phases of menopause, women’s risk of heart disease increases. Aging of the heart muscle and vessels is another reason. 

A lifestyle solution that can potentially reduce heart disease risk is lowering the carbohydrates in your eating habits. Research has shown that lower carbohydrate eating habits improve HDL or “good” cholesterol, reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and lower blood triglyceride levels. 

The b-untethered approach also recommends a more moderate intake of carbs because in menopause the body doesn’t handle carbohydrates as efficiently. Shoot for no more than 40% of calories from carbs to improve body composition.


Show Your Heart Some Love
Looking to show your heart some love and attention this month? A great place to start is by adding more fish to your menu rotation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 8 ounces of fish on a weekly basis. Cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, herring, anchovies, mackerel, black cod, and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids which may promote heart health.

It’s as simple as seasoning salmon filets and putting them in your air fryer at 390 degrees for seven minutes or adding pouched tuna to a lunchtime salad. Or to push yourself way outside your comfort zone, try sardine tacos with sriracha mayo, avocado, sliced radishes, chopped purple cabbage, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.

Start this new habit now to get your heart to love you back all year long.


How Hard Is Hard Enough To See Benefits?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best exercises for menopause symptom relief, such as visceral fat gain, blood sugar control, and VO2 max loss.

But how do you know if you’re pushing yourself hard enough to see benefits?

It’s all about the heart rate baby! There are two approaches to staying in the right range:

  1. Calculate your maximum heart rate in beats per minute(BPM) by subtracting your age from 220. Multiply this number by .85 for your low end and .9 for your high end. This is your target range for HIIT.
  2. Choose a heart rate monitor from one of the many wearables on the market. Plug in your age and the device typically does the calculation work for you, so easy!

Of course, everybody is different! And as we age, there is even further variability in our heart reactions, so one 48-year old might feel great at 146 BPM while another struggles to complete the exercise set.

This is why for beginners it might be important to use something called the “talk test” to determine how hard you are working. The talk test basically states that, while you are doing vigorous activity, if you are in the target range for HIIT, you should not be able to say more than a few words at a time.

As always, check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Do note, however, that HIIT has shown positive results for those with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Each situation is unique, so again, check with your doctor.

With this knowledge, you are one step closer to becoming a better you!

Frame of mind

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

You know when you are out of your comfort zone. Your heart beats faster, adrenaline skyrockets and that “fight or flight” kicks in, making you want to run. By nature, we don’t like to spend time here because we feel vulnerable and stressed.
However, as humans evolved, we’ve learned that pushing ourselves to do difficult, unfamiliar things is the only way to grow and become your most fulfilled you.
Midlife gives us plenty of opportunities to feel “uncomfortable” and menopause is a big one(and there’s no “flight” option!). Others could be a first date after ending a 25-year marriage, going back to work after a 15-year hiatus, or even something a little less traumatic, like training for a first triathlon(our CSO, Annette, is doing this right now! Go girl!).
Whatever your challenge, when you come out the other side, you feel lighter, stronger; as if another layer of armor has been added to your soul.

How do you do it?

  1. You decide. Make the decision to take on that difficult challenge or uncomfortable scenario. Decide to take the positive approach, as in “what door is opening for me through this?”. Take all the tears, good chocolate, and self care you need before deciding.
  2. You put a plan in place to help you get there and set goals (b-untethered can help with that!)
  3. You execute on that plan. Start today!
  4. You keep your mind focused on achieving your goals
  5. You understand (but do not ruminate on!) the potential consequences – the “what-ifs” – and build plans to overcome those challenges.

Read about Anissa’s latest journey outside of the comfort zone here.

She believed she could,
so she did!



Marie Boudreau-Ninkov:

Triumph Through Tragedy

Marie is a multiple Ironman Triathalon finisher, ultra marathoner, and the first woman to qualify for the Boston Marathon while pushing another person in a wheelchair.  And Marie is one of those people who, when you hear her story, you wonder how she got through it all to achieve these amazing feats.

Marie, a twin, lost her sister at age 38 from breast cancer after already having lost her mother and grandmother to the same disease. Because of this Marie made the decision to undergo a radical mastectomy, having both breasts removed.
This alone is unimaginably tough. But there’s more to Marie’s story…

One morning, while training for an Ironman Triathlon, Marie went out on her bike with her training partner, Heather. It was this quiet Sunday that a drunk driver struck and killed Heather and Marie witnessed the entire horrific event.
After witnessing something to this degree, one can imagine not EVER wanting to get back on a bike, or frankly even go out in public for a very long time.
But- Marie is strong. She took the energy of her grief, and just three days after the accident, carried on with her training and went to compete in the race. She knows it’s what Heather would have wanted. 

We can never know what its like to be in someone else’s shoes. We can only imagine the pain, fear and sadness Marie must have had to overcome to push through such an already-exhausting event like Ironman.  While we hope no one has to experience such pain, it is and will be a fact of life for many of us and we can draw strength from stories such as Marie’s.

As a post note, Heather’s family started a fund and have a 5K in her honor. You can read about it(and donate!) here, Heather Frazer Boyum Iron Angel Memorial Fund.

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