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.

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

Well

It’s Autumn again in New York City.

The time when I scout around for produce at the Greenmarket.

This fall I intend to focus on eating well and breaking a sweat.

In a couple of weeks I should be able to post a new workout routine.

I ordinarily do the Upper Body and Lower Body workouts for 12 sessions each.

For over one year I have done something unusual. Not that it is uncommon for me to do something unusual:

I’ve been exercising on the hardwood floor in my living room. Every 12 weeks I meet my personal trainer at the gym to be given a new workout routine to do. This routine I do at home as I’ve talked about before.

As I got older I could no longer exercise at the gym ferociously like I used to.

The year ends in just over 2 months. I think everyone could benefit from revising and reviewing their routine while Mercury is retrograde this month and through early November.

This is my plan: to eat well and break a sweat. To not get hung up over the times when I don’t do what you’re supposed to do.

A reappearance of COVID-19 is expected in November.

This is why now is the time to take care of our mental and physical health.

I expect in 2 or 3 weeks to post another workout routine.

Stay tuned.

Health Bucks

This might not apply to most blog readers. However I want to write about it because who knows–maybe a reader falls into this category.

In New York City those of us who collect SNAP benefits are eligible to obtain Health Bucks at our Greenmarkets.

For every $5 spent in SNAP benefits, a person will get a $2 Health Bucks coupon.

Thus enabling you to get more fruits and vegetables.

To do so:

Bring your EBT card to the market manager tent at the farmer’s market.

Swipe your EBT card and in exchange get tokens and Health Bucks to spend at the market.

I don’t take kindly to people who resent others for buying organic food with their SNAP benefits.

Individuals living on a low income deserve to be healthy and eat nutritiously just like those of us who are well-off.

This is what I say:

Cut it out with the comments about people using SNAP to buy juicy heirloom tomatoes.

Regardless of your income there’s no shame in wanting to be healthy.

Center Cut Squash

The salmon filet was leftover from a Bento box I ordered for dinner one night.

The vegetable is the Center Cut Squash that arrived in the CSA box. It was the first time I had this veggie. The squash tastes almost like citrus and is juicy and tastes green.

How it was cooked:

I cut the squash in half the long way. Brushed with olive oil. Cooked at 350 degrees in the oven for 40 minutes or so.

Alas, I’ve stopped buying the CSA box because there’s too much food in it to use within five days.

Now that fall’s coming I will be buying individual vegetables like spaghetti squash.

Recipes to follow for Bok Choy plus vegan snacks.

Beet Salad

The word for beets in Italian is barbabietole.

The beets were in the CSA box with the other vegetables I used to make the prior meals.

This beet salad was for dinner one night. The heirloom tomatoes came from the box of organic tomatoes I bought.

To roast beets you cut off the top and bottom. You roast them at 400 degrees for 45 minutes in the oven.

I let the beets cool a bit after taking them out of the oven. Then I used a knife to cut around in a circle to remove the hard skin.

I used the onion that was in the CSA box too.