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The 8 Dimensions of Wellness

The Wheel of Wellness encompasses these 8 dimensions:

Physical:

Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods and sleep, regular physical examinations.

Environmental:

Promoting good self-health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.

Emotional:

Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships.

Financial:

Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.

Spiritual:

Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life.

Intellectual:

Recognizing creative abilities and strengths and finding ways to expand our knowledge base and our skills.

Occupational:

Personal satisfaction and enrichments from our work – paid or volunteer.

Social:

Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.

2021 Late Winter Lower Body Routine

Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Feet outside of shoulder width – dumbbells facing forward & held between legs

3 x 12 @ 15 pounds

Kettlebell bridges

Push off heels to raise legs toward ceiling – make sure kettlebell is centered on the hips

3 x 15 @ 15 pounds

Dumbbell Single Leg Hamstring Dead Lift

Starting with left side. Right foot placed behind – left foot straight – reach toward floor until you feel the hamstring stretch

10 reps each side – 8-10 pounds

Leg Extensions holding Dumbbell

DB is held between feet – hold tight – extend legs out to full extension

Use sturdy chair where your feet don’t touch the floor

3 x 15 @ 5 pounds

______________________

Kettlebell Swings

3 x 15 @ 10 pounds

+

Knee and Arm Tuck for Abs

Start fully extended – tuck arms & legs together to squeeze stomach muscles

12-16 reps

Medicine Ball Slams Straight

20 throws

+

Standing Body Bar Rotations

20 rotations

2021 Late Winter Upper Body Routine

DB Chest Press 3 sets x 12-15 reps @ 10 pounds

Lying flat on floor elbows at 45 degree position press towards ceiling

Standing Resistance Band Row 3 sets x 15 reps

Band under feet find proper resistance – hinge at hips and row while squeezing back muscles

Resistance Band Tricep Extension 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Band placed between thumb and pointer finger – behind back in opposite hand – extend toward ceiling

DB Curl w / forearm rotation 3 sets x 12-15 reps 8-10 pounds

Start with hands in hammer curl position – rotate palm upward as you curl

DB Lateral Shoulder Raise 3 sets x 12-15 reps @ 5 pounds

Raise to shoulder height

___________________

Jump Rope Jumps 30 seconds

+

Flutter Kicks (small alternating kick) 30 seconds

Jumping Jacks 20-30 seconds

+

X-Tucks

Beginning with body in X stance then tuck arms and legs together in the middle to squeeze stomach

Trusting Your Intuition

Trusting your intuition is key when making changes to improve your health.

Over the years I’ve decided to do things long before I read that an expert said to do these things.

A lot of times it comes down to common sense. In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about a book that has cutting-edge health information for those of us over 40.

Some of the changes I figured out to make were these:

  1. Only have yogurt 2 to 3 times a week. Make it full-fat plain Fage yogurt mixed in with organic blueberries.
  2. Eat mostly vegetables and make most of them organic.
  3. Cook my own dinners more often every week.
  4. Change how often and how long I work out. After I turned 53 I started to lift weights at home 2x per week for 30 to 40 minutes. Instead of using machines at the gym 3 days a week for 50 minutes each session.
  5. Rarely drink milk.
  6. Have a pastry or other “treat” every so often. Progress not perfection is the goal.
  7. Scramble organic eggs and veggies for breakfast.

After making these changes I lost 12 pounds in one year. I’m also fitter today than I was 7 years ago dead lifting 205 pounds at the gym.

My trainer gave me new Upper and Lower Body routines to do. I’ll post them here in a couple of weeks.

Coming up soon a few recipes as well.

Getting Fitter After 50

So much of getting fitter after 50 if you ask me is about the mental and emotional and spiritual. Not solely the physical.

The mistake is setting a condition that you have to achieve in life before you’ll become happy.

Like: “I’ll buy that new skirt when I lose 10 pounds.” Buy the skirt now!

Getting fitter after 50 requires having the courage to make these kinds of changes.

It’s the mental game that has an impact now.

In my life I’ve decided that I can’t rely on other people to tell me what’s right or wrong or what I should do and how I should live.

That’s the bottom line after 50:

Having the confidence to go against the grain of what’s popular in the mainstream.

To do what you know is right for you regardless of whether others think it’s right.

So much of success after 50 lies in trusting yourself.

More in the coming blog entry about trusting your gut or trusting your intuition.

Exercising After 50

In the last 4 years it has been challenging.

Things changed after I turned 52. That’s when my personal trainer at the gym had the foresight to create next-level workout routines for me.

With her help I started lifting weights for 30 to 40 minutes 2x per week.

I could no longer workout at the gym for 50 minutes 3x per week.

I’m the proudest of this achievement:

In January 2014 I could dead lift with the trap bar 205 pounds.

That was impressive considering I’m only 5 feet tall and weighed 120 pounds at the time.

After I turned 52 my former female trainer took a different approach to create workout routines I could do in my living room.

See the Home Gym category for information and sample exercise plans.

My current trainer is a guy I’ve worked with for over one year so far. He’s an exceptional trainer just like the old trainer was.

For the holidays I gave my trainer a $50 bill.

The gym I go to attracts hardcore fitness buffs. The trainers I work with create Upper and Lower Body routines for me to do that I can do on my own. Every 6 or 7 weeks I meet with the trainer to get a new routine.

The trainers respect and are impressed that I have the ability to lift weights on my own every week.

No trainer has been upset that I don’t pay them to train me in one-on-one sessions every week.

It’s not only that I couldn’t afford to do that. It’s that the gym gets crowded. You’re crunched together sweating. It can be hard to find room on the mat or a machine that is free.

It was auspicious that I hard started exercising at home in May 2019.

In March 2020 when New York City shut down the gyms closed. My gym didn’t open again until early September.

Since September I have lifted weights every week. Either 1x per week or 2x per week. I haven’t missed a week of exercising.

In the coming blog entry I want to give readers a shot in the arm of confidence about getting fitter as you get older.

My experience could be empowering.

How to Reset

I’m going to reset in a slow and steady fashion.

Tweaking things a little that have gotten out of hand–like eating Christmas cookies on Saturday : )

The Changeology book 90-day action plan has always worked for me with the 5 steps you execute one after the other.

Focusing on one or two habits at a time to change is the difference.

My goal is to return to eating organic raspberries and blackberries. To add in having organic green apple slices with unsweetened almond butter.

Just nix having bananas. They are high in sugar.

Not all fruit and vegetables are created equal. White food isn’t healthful. Cauliflower is the exception to this rule.

My goal this week is to start to reset my routine.

To this end I bought from Macy’s a gold-and-white striped small bowl with black letters inside that shout: Happy Everything!

To make eating berries a cheerful experience.

As well as changing up what I’ve been eating I’m continuing to modify my workout routines.

More in the coming blog entry about changing how I exercised post-50.

Using My Experience to Empower Readers

It’s January and too often people join a gym exercise madly for 2 months then quit when they don’t see progress.

The fixation on weight loss disturbs me. The fact is that when a person adopts consistent healthy habits permanently they will naturally lose weight.

Without having to go on a restrictive diet or any kind of “diet” written about in the plethora of diet books published every year like clockwork.

I’m compelled to write about my experience to empower readers. I lost 15 pounds and that hadn’t been my goal.

My goal was to eat more healthful food and continue to lift weights 2x per week as often as I could.

Would you like to know how I lost 15 pounds without even trying to?

I’m 55 years old and living in menopause. Yet I haven’t gained weight.

What I propose is a simple plan. It might not be easy to adopt at first if a person is totally out of shape.

Only it will work especially for those of us who are older.

Should you want to dive right into the details you can buy the Frank Lipman, M.D. book The New Rules of Aging Well.

Before I checked out of the library this book I had already been doing the things Dr. Lipman advised us older folk to do.

A preview of what I’ve done over the years:

Have yogurt only 2 or 3 times a week.

Stop eating meat of any kind that comes from a CAFO.

Not eat a lot of food every day.

Engage in intermittent fasting: have dinner between 6:00-7:30 p.m. Wait 16 hours to eat again when I’m at home the next day. Scramble eggs for breakfast after this fast.

Have only 2 meals a day every so often.

Make my “3 square meals” small ones.

Cut out eating granola and grains.

Cook my own dinners more often every week.

Change the frequency and duration of my workout routines. Lift weights in my living room. Use lower weight and higher reps for each exercise.

Have the cannoli on New Year’s Eve because I’m not perfect : )

Portable Snacks – Part Two

The Hope hummus and organic carrot sticks shown are sold on FreshDirect.

I buy this brand because it doesn’t contain natural flavor as an ingredient like other hummus does.

The term natural flavor is a euphenism for chemicals whose real names the government doesn’t require to be listed on the nutrition label.

So rest assured if you’re consuming food and drink products with “natural flavor” you’re loading your body up with chemicals.

At times I do buy and use a product that has natural flavor. Only not as an every week occurrence. Not as an every few weeks occurrence.

FreshDirect sells their own brand of vegetable stock that doesn’t contain natural flavor like every other boxed vegetable stock brand does.

So I buy 2 containers of the FreshDirect vegetable stock as a time.

The combo shown above is the perfect 3:00 p.m. snack when you’re at an office job or other job where you can store things in a refrigerator.

Portable Snacks – Part One

The first photo is of the box the stainless steel containers with silicon lids were packaged in. The last photo is of the “trail mix” I created in the portable tin.

The cashews, coconut chips, and chocolate chips are sold on FreshDirect.

The mini chips list cane sugar as the first ingredient so should be eaten in moderation.

Otherwise once or twice a week it could be okay to make this trail mix to take on the go.

I’ll post a carnival of portable snacks blog entries today. The next one is a far better option than a candy bar.

The Tavva stainless steel containers are sold on Amazon.

Minus the mini chips cashews and coconut chips are fine on their own.

Feeding the Hungry

The NY Common Pantry sent me a tax receipt letter for $270 in donations to this nonprofit in 2020.

The meals I bought for people in need I hadn’t realized would total over $200 in 7 months.

I did this via “buying” two $5 donations when I ordered groceries via FreshDirect each week. One $5 donation provides 4 pantry meals for a person in need.

Beto O’Rourke in the article I link to at the end of this blog entry wrote with two other authors that expanding and fortifying the food stamps / SNAP benefits program is cost-effective.

Whereas forcing people to use food pantries is wasteful.

O’Rourke and the two other authors’ rationale for the beauty of the SNAP program makes perfect sense to me.

For now I’m OK with donating money for meals to NY Common Pantry.

It’s because in our right-wing political climate nothing has been “right” in terms of fostering social justice.

50 million Americans are estimated to live with food insecurity.

Since Mr. Toupee (my nickname for the former president) and his ilk were keen only to tamp down on programs that benefit citizens in economic need I think my funding of the food bank is an OK stopgap measure for now.

I had no idea that my weekly donations would add up so high so quickly.

In the time of the pandemic I’ve had a refrigerator bursting with food.

I’m able-bodied and strong enough to have carried home from a market 50-pound bags of groceries when I couldn’t get an online food delivery.

Now that LL Cool Joe (my nickname for Joe Biden) takes office I pray that real lasting effective change comes to our country.

No American should go hungry. No American should live in poverty.

The article about the rationale of expanding the SNAP benefits is here:

Food Stamp / Snap Benefits Article