ROAR: How To Be Fit And Healthy Based On Science About Women
You are not a small man. Stop eating and training like one.
Dr. Stacy Sims, nutrition scientist and exercise physiologist, gets right to the point on the first page of Roar: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Female Physiology For Optimum Performance, Great Health and A Strong Lean Body For Life. Although I bought this book when it was published in 2016, it never made it to the top of the ‘to-read’ pile surprisingly. Until a few months ago. I started seeing rave reviews for it online so I decided I better read it to find out what all the fuss was about. Well, l couldn’t put it down. Here’s my version of what all the fuss is about and why you want to read this book. Now.
- I understand better how my body works and how to fuel it for optimal performance, not just in sport but in my life overall. In a nutshell, I need to get more protein in quickly after a workout to prevent fat storage Now that I’m in menopause, my attention to nutrition is even more important to maintain muscle and not gain body fat. (Also chapters on menstrual cycle and pregnancy.)
- Clearly yet in great detail, Sims explains what happens to our hormones in our various life stages and the impact on our bones, sleep, energy and fat storage. I learned the term ‘sedentary creep’ which is the accumulation of detrimental affects from sitting, regardless of how fit and active we are. What??!! The remedy: 2 minutes of movement every hour!
- Body type determines the best eating and exercise strategy. Mine is endomorph – softer, rounder and tend to store fat easily. My sluggish metabolism requires more high intensity training and limiting my carbohydrate intake. Sims also explains simple eating guidelines for a lean healthy body. Don’t count calories or get caught up in what the scale says. I threw out my scale about 15 years ago, deciding to use my clothes as a measure. Too tight- cut back. That approach has worked for me. Roar has given me added strategies for fewer ‘too tight’ days.
- I’ve known strength training is important for a whole bunch of reasons – including healthy brain functioning. Finally in this book I have a set of exercises I can do at home with only 2 pieces of equipment – kettle bell and medicine ball. Sims provides a 4 week sample schedule for optimizing the various exercises. Simple. Easy. Effective! That’s what I like. I leave it out open to the strength training section as a reminder. It works.
- Food as fuel is Sims’ overarching message. How to fuel our bodies to perform at our best mentally and physically as well as protect our bones and bodies late into our life span. She includes a few recipes. I made her ‘Salty Balls” sport energy balls and I like them. Taste good, not too sweet and firm enough that they don’t fall apart or melt.
In order to succeed, you need to work with – not against – your natural physiology.
Whether you call yourself an athlete or not, I rate this book as a must read for women to learn about the interplay of lifecycle, physical activity, nutrition and overall health throughout our lives. We are women. ’Roar’ is a valuable resource for us to find our ‘more’!
Which parts of the book resonated most with you? How has your approach to health and wellness changed since reading the book? Please share in the comments below.