The Fruited Plain

Two years ago I hired a Health Coach to help me design a better eating plan.

Goodbye, granola mush morning breakfast. Hello, scrambled eggs with shitake mushrooms.

This was in 2019. Since then I had regained my energy through fall 2020.

Stress lack of sleep and depression can cause fatigue.

“Sugar can exacerbate anxiety and depression,” Devorah the Health Coach told me.

Fruit grains and beans break down into sugar.

Devorah told me I could have 1 to 2 small pieces of fruit a day.

I add organic raspberries to my salad for lunch. Mix in organic blueberries with whole-fat plain Greek yogurt after I exercise.

For breakfast I have an organic navel orange. That’s all in terms of fruit.

Yes–sugar is the culprit in ill health more than any other substance is.

A lot of us had become depressed while sheltering indoors during the pandemic. Not only this a person can be depressed because they’re under stress.

Whatever the root of what you’re going through as I’ve written in here before healthful food can improve a person’s mood.

How am I climbing my way out of the recent fatigue I’ve experienced?

First I have started to focus on living for today. Not worrying about what might happen in the future.

Hiring Devorah was the strategy that helped me start to regain my energy.

Though I paid her you will get her action plan for free courtesy of what I’ll be covering in the coming blog entries.

Upcoming Blog Topics

In the coming blog entries I’m going to talk about how to manage anxiety, fatigue, and depression that is caused by a poor diet.

Should you need to take a happy pill that is okay too.

I talked with the health coach Devorah that I had first hired in 2019 two years ago.

She gave me ideas about how to get my energy back.

Stress, a lack of sleep, and poor diet all impact our mood and energy levels.

Stay tuned for a detailed examination of what I found out.

Mustard Greens

I found this recipe on the internet last year round about this time. Back then I was sheltering indoors. Since I was home I ordered CSA produce boxes. Cooking from recipes with the vegetables.

Ingredients

1/2 cup thinly sliced onions

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 pound mustard greens washed and torn into large pieces

2 to3 tablespoons vegetable broth – I used vegetable stock

1/4 teaspoon salt

14 teaspoon pewpper

1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

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Saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more until fragrant.

Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted.

Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato and Cabbage Slaw

In early January of this year I found this recipe on the internet.

I don’t often buy the organic CSA boxes anymore. Yet when I do I search for recipes that use the produce I’ve gotten in the box.

This recipe calls for canola oil. It’s an unhealthy fat that should not be used in cooking at all. So I’ve created this recipe with EVOO–extra virgin olive oil.

I’ve also used regular sesame oil.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups coarsely grated peeled sweet potato (about 1 large)

3 cups thinly shredded napa or Savoy cabbage

4 scallions trimmed and thinly slicec

1 teaspoon finely minced serrano or jalapeno pepper with seeds (optional)

Directions:

Whisk olive oil, lime juice, sesame oil and salt in a large bowl.

Add sweet potato, cabbage, scallions and serrano or jalapenos.

Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month.

As of today I have only two months until Greenmarket season starts in New York City.

Some Grow NYC markets are open year-round in NYC.

In the coming blog entries I’ll give recipes for coleslaw and mustard greens.

In the first four months of the shutdown in New York City in 2020 I had been buying organic CSA produce boxes. Cooking my own meals with the vegetables.

This month in here I will focus on recipes again.

Too I want to talk about surviving a setback like the pandemic or living through a challenge that threatens to throw your health out of focus.

Stay tuned.

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

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Kettlebell Swings

3 x 15 @ 10 pounds

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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

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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

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Jump Rope Jumps 30 seconds

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Flutter Kicks (small alternating kick) 30 seconds

Jumping Jacks 20-30 seconds

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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.