The 60’s: Aging Gracefully, Food, & Fitness

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll know that I sometimes take a break from fashion and just talk about real life situations and what I’m doing to try to age as gracefully as possible.  From food, to fitness, to trying to stay up on my health situation from year to year, there’s a lot to this topic that I thought you all might enjoy and benefit from too.  Since I’m over 60 now, the aging process is rearing its head even more.

Remember when you were young and old people talked about their ailments and you’d chuckle about that and say, I’ll never do that?!  Well, welcome to older age!  I guess I’m officially old now, ha!

I shared this post 5 years ago about my workout routine.  It hasn’t changed a whole lot, I still try to get to the gym 3 times a week and get outside and walk when I can. I have gone down to a 20 lb. bar instead of the 30 lbs. mentioned in that post, since I have a shoulder that bothers me sometimes.  My weight routine at the gym is about 20 minutes and I usually do 35 minutes on the recumbent bike and it’s low impact on my joints which is good. So, my whole routine is about an hour.

I shared this post about what I eat almost 3 years ago. I get questions periodically about what I eat, so I thought I’d do an update here.  I’ll share more below about that and I so hope you aren’t bored with this post!  It’s real life and I know we all deal with health issues, so here’s mine in a nutshell.

{I tend to stay in workout clothes all during the week, since I do go to the gym & they are so comfy to wear around the house}

My parents have made aging look so easy and so they have been my role models for growing older myself, but honestly, they have done it way better than I have (and my sister for that matter, we both have structural issues).  My mom has told us that she didn’t start getting aches and pains until well on up in age, like into her late 70’s or 80’s.  She is now 90 and does have back pain and degenerative conditions going on with her back.  But, all those years, she has never had much pain at all with her back or otherwise. She does have arthritis in her hands, but she says it doesn’t hurt most of the time.

Dad had back surgery about 20 years ago which would have put him in his early 70’s.  He had bulging disc issues which put him on his back and he had no choice but to get surgery.  Thankfully, it was really successful and he’s gone on to have a very productive life in his older years. Around that same time, 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, which is the vertebra in the lower spine slips out of place and causes pain.  I was probably born with it, the doctors said back then and I’ve been living with it for 20+ years.

{A veggie meal at my parents house, normal for summer fare.  I’m sure that garden food has a lot to do with why they have aged so well}

Of course, with age, it has gotten worse and I’ve just had an MRI done to see what is going on now and to see what sort of treatment might be available.  I’ll know more about that after my next appointment.  On top of back pain, my hips starting hurting about 8 years ago, probably some of this is related to the back issues, but I’m not sure yet where that is going either, so that’s another thing that will be on my radar for getting under control as I get older.  I have managed to live with the hip pain and still go and do, but I know it’s probably going to get worse.  It’s like a rubber band in my hip joints that feels tight and hurts, especially with certain movements.  I really don’t want to have to do hip replacement surgery, although my sister had it done about 2 years ago on one of her hips and has done well with that.  So, that might be in the genes too, although mom and dad haven’t had hip problems.

Oh, those genetic issues that come to us from family.  They seem to always be the bad stuff and not always the good ones.  I was also just put on thyroid meds for hypothyroidism, oh the joy!  My sister and mom are both on thyroid medication too, so again it runs in the family.  I’m hoping not to have side effects with these meds, so we will see.

I have been very fortunate to not have to go to the doctor very often in my life.  We went very minimal times as children.  My parents prayed for us when we were sick and apparently that worked very well, as I cannot remember ever going to the doctor when I was a kid.  My parents didn’t have health insurance either back then, so we just got by.

Two years ago I signed on with a Primary care doctor, since I had high blood pressure that needed to be dealt with, so that happened then and I’m on meds for that too. I always had lower blood pressure and all of a sudden it went up, for no reason about 8 years ago.  I blamed it on the stress of what I was going through at the time, but it didn’t regulate back down, so I went on meds finally. My mom has high blood pressure too, so it’s probably hereditary, since I’m not a high risk for it.

I have always since I was in my 20’s, gone to an OB/Gyn for yearly checkups and started getting mamograms when I was around 40 and have kept up with those all these years. I believe in doing what we can to prevent things, like seeing a dermatologist, I’ve done that regularly too. But other than that, I have rarely gone to the doctor until just the last couple of years.  I’ve been very fortunate that I don’t get sick very often and can’t remember the last time I had the flu. I rarely get colds either, since I take doses of Vitamin C regularly.

I am taking a whole regimen of supplements, so I’ll share that at the bottom too.  I did get shingles last year, as I mentioned back before Christmas last year.  I had a mild case, but don’t ever want them again!  I plan to get the shingles vaccine when I can.

I don’t get sick often, but apparently my bones and joints are falling apart! I kid, sort of. I just want you to know that even though I get dressed up and look cute, things are not all perfect with me either.  We all have health issues to deal with.  I’m thankful mine aren’t worse and I’m determined to deal with them the best way I can in the future. I just try to keep moving and doing, even though my energy level is not nearly as great as it was even 10 years ago.  I find that if I just keep pushing through, I get things done, I just have to do things in smaller increments now, like an hour or so at the time.  I do get a lot of projects done around here, but it’s not without some pain and lots of resting too!

Let’s talk about food!

What we eat is such a topic of conversation these days.  It seems that everything now is bad for you.  If you eat Paleo, then grains, beans, and pasta is off limits.  Oatmeal is good for high cholesterol, but you can’t have that on certain diets, it’s a grain.  Wheat is bad for you and we aren’t eating as much bread as we used to, because gluten is off limits for so many now.  I’ve never been gluten free or dairy free, but so many of my friends are.  Is that a better way to eat?  I don’t know that for sure, but I’ve just never limited myself that strictly in what I eat.  I do however try to eat real food, in moderation. That’s how my parents have always eaten.

OK, so here’s what I will typically eat for breakfast.  I still love these Paleo banana pancakes that discovered a few years ago and eat them at least twice a week.  I add whatever fruit is in season, a little dollop of honey and some pecans.

Here’s another breakfast I shared recently on Instagram.  Soft fried egg on a piece of Public toast,  toast with jelly, avocado and fresh peaches.  One thing I’ve been doing more of is eating avocado on regular basis. I probably eat 3 of them a week, they have the good fat that we all need, so I’ve added them to my diet and I really have grown to love them. And it’s funny, because I used to hate them.  Now I love fresh guacamole, sliced up with salt and pepper for breakfast and they are really good on a BLT too.

Another breakfast, Publix Cranberry walnut loaf bread (it’s so good!), blueberries, scrambled egg and avocado again.  Eggs and avocado are filling and so are the Paleo pancakes.  When I eat breakfast like that, I’m not hungry until mid afernoon.

My rationale on eating is I try to eat fairly healthy, but I’m not fanatical about any of it. I don’t buy boxed meals, but cook from scratch most of the time. I shared this below before, but I’ll share it again. This was a pasta salad I made with white tuna, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumber, an easy summer meal.

I rarely cook anything out of a box anymore (except an occasional veggie pizza, I’ve been getting preservative free crusts), but cook things from scratch.  I keep it pretty simple with grilled chicken, fish, pork or sometimes beef, with sides like sweet potatoes, roasted red potatoes, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, veggies like that.

Another typical lunch at home:  rice crackers and cheese, salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and chicken salad from Publix (Boars Head) and grapes. I love that chicken salad for lunches at home and will buy that periodically. Of course, I could make my own, but it’s just me at home for lunch.

In the summer, a tomato sandwich is all I need, except for a few potato chips.  I don’t adhere to a strict no-chip diet, but I eat them in moderation. That’s my main motto…everything in moderation.  Chips and salsa included.

This is a favorite summer treat when fresh tomatoes are in, Caprese Salad. We love this and can make a meal off it!

This was chicken nachos that I cooked in the oven and added fresh avocado. It’s all veggies with cheese on top and yes, there are tortilla chips, but again, I eat chips and don’t ban everything from my diet.  I wish I could say I eat healthy 100% of the time, but it’s just not true. I do limit the amount of bread I eat now.

I still buy whole wheat bread, but don’t eat it all the time anymore. I will buy it in the deli and not the regular bread section. Public has my favorites breads in their bakery.  I will limit it to sandwiches usually and that’s certainly not every day.  One of my weaknesses is BLT’s, so I will make those for lunch pretty often.  I love chips too and those Kettle chips are a weakness, but I don’t eat those regularly either.  I’ve also discovered sweet potato chips which are pretty awesome.  I try to eat veggies often, but don’t do it as much as I should.   I buy fresh veggies and fruits at Aldi’s and always have a variety around the house.

Mark and I both love pizza, so I’ll buy those preservative free pizzas at the grocery store or make my own with Public pizza dough, like this one above, and add lots of fresh veggies and fresh mozzarella.  So yummy!  Again, not healthy if you’re on a diet and trying to lose weight, I get it that this wouldn’t fit so many diet plans. It seems the Keto diet is all the rage now, I keep hearing about that one all over the internet.

{I’m not above eating at The Varsity on occasion.  This is what I always order there and it probably has 5000 calories, but it’s worth the splurge sometimes. That’s a chicken salad sandwich by the way, with onion rings, peach pie and a frosted orange. This is about once a year for me.}

One thing I don’t do is snack between meals.  I know many people are snackers, but that is something I am not in the habit of doing. I eat 3 meals a day and not much snacking in between.  I do have a sweet tooth and will eat dessert at my mom’s whenever I’m there, but I don’t bring a lot of sweet stuff home to my house.  If it’s not around, I can’t eat it!

I’m trying to cook things that are better for us and Mark is trying to lose about 20 lbs., so I want to do what I can to help him with that. Now that I’m cooking more, I’m trying to think about both of us in what I cook and serve around here.  It’s not always easy though, is it?  Why does everything taste so good that’s not healthy for us? See above, The Varsity!

When we were young, we could eat anything and not worry about our bodies, but that’s not the case anymore.  Food is very important and what we eat definitely has an impact on our bodies.
I’d love to hear your feedback on health isses as you’re getting older and what you’re doing to try to slow down the aging process.

Anyone deal with back/hip issues like I do?  I’d love to know if you’ve found anything that has kept the pain in check for you.  I am on a whole host of supplements to help with bones and joints, so I’ll share those with you. I’ve been going to a chiropractor for the last 3 years and he helps me manage the pain, but it never goes away completely.  I’m taking these supplements:

Tumeric

Vit. C

Calcium

Minerals from my chiropractor (Trace Minerals B12 and Min-Tran)

Magnesium

D3 (heard this was good for joints and bone) along with K2, so I recently added these)

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Biotin (for hair and nails)

Just thought this would be a fun change of pace for today’s over 50 post, so I hope you enjoyed. Please chime in with your own comments on what you’re doing for yourselves health-wise?  what you’re eating?  Do you have any tips you can share on pain management for joints and back?  I’d love to hear from all of you too!  This aging journey is a lifetime one, isn’t it?  And it’s not a one size fits all.  There’s so much to learn!  Mark is getting ready to turn 65 this month and so we are starting to read up on Medicare options and all of that.  I’m just over 3 years behind him.  Until you get here, you just don’t know what all is involved with it all.

Keeping ourselves healthy is a lifetime goal, for sure and is constantly changing!

- Rhoda

Comments

  1. Very interesting post. I always love to see what others are doing. I have hypothyroidism. It runs in my family. I recently had a parathyroid tumor removed. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in my late 30’s and suffered terribly as it got progressively worse. I am 57 now and am off of all meds for RA for three years now. I did it with food, exercise, supplements, and prayer:) Gluten is a big no no with thyroid issues. I went to the most amazing doctor in Pensacola who told me that as well as the book on thyroid issues by Amy Myers. IT might help with the joint issues. I hope so anyway. I know that organic helps. When I do splurge on a dessert and don’t go gluten free for the rest of the family I use organic flour.

  2. Cate McCartney says:

    While reading that you added strawberries to your pancakes I reminisced about a vacation we had a couple of years ago near Plant City Florida. Lo and behold the next year in the early spring Plant City strawberries were in a local store in my hometown here in Canada.

    • Yes, Plant City is near where my mom grew up so we always have known about Plant City strawberries and they even have a Strawberry Festival every year that all my relatives go to.

  3. Hi Rhoda,
    Be aware that biotin can interfere with thyroid results…A lot of doctors (primary care not endocrinologist) aren’t aware of this yet.

    • I was going to comment on this as well. It’s been several years when someone told me to begin taking Biotin but when I read up on it there was something I had that biotin interfered with but I couldn’t remember what it was!!! lol lol

    • I saw something about that on something I read recently. But it said large amounts and I didn’t think my one dose a day would be considered large amounts, but I’ll run it by my doc and see what he says. I’ll definitely find out if he thinks I should stop taking it and get another blood test done. Maybe I don’t need the meds after all, I’d be happy about that.

  4. Kellie Smith says:

    I too have Hypothyroidism.. began taking meds over 4 yrs ago, unfortunately mine developed into Thyroid Cancer (Papillary). I had entire Thyroid removed.. that’s was 3 1/2 yrs ago.. No problems to date .. have regular labs done.. doing well.. But, i have seen a difference in my energy levels. Check with your Dr.. I don’t take any supplements..
    53 yr old, and exercise 3-5 days a week. Do not diet, as I’m not over weight. I do take BP meds, it’s genetic for me. Family history… exercise can really help keep BP in healthy range.
    Your right, as you age… you just have to keep moving & make modifications on your type of exercise .. Thanks for sharing.. always look forward to your blog..

  5. Yay for you, Rhoda! Thanks so much for sharing all this. You and I share some of the same habits, but I need to imitate you in the eating department. Right now I don’t eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables! Of course, if I had a garden like your dad’s, I’d eat nothing but veggies all summer long. . . .

    I love the way you’re more of a “moderation” girl than a fanatic about what you eat. A much easier way to live, I think, if you can be disciplined enough not to overeat.

    You look awesome, by the way!

  6. Thanks so much for this informative post, Rhoda! Although I’m a few years younger than you, I’m experiencing the hip issues as well. I also have an issue with high cholesterol that I’m trying to improve with diet and exercise versus medication. I, like you, find that I do much better with my eating when I eat healthy the majority of the time, watch my portions and eat three meals no snacks (just like our grandparents did). My mom is also a big fan of your blog and she is 81 years old. We like to talk about your posts and agree that you are a favorite. You speak from the heart and you inspire all of us in so many areas of our lives. You are truly a blessing, Rhonda!

    • Hi, Cathy, thank you so much, I love that you and your mom are fans! I just try to be myself and share what I’m thinking and experiencing, so I think it seems to resonate with all of you too.

  7. I think two things, our parents and grandparents who were alive during the depression were not complainers. They knew hardship and so what if their knee hurt? Things could be worse. Also, they didn’t eat all of this processed food we eat today. I love to see what you all eat at your folks house. I am 60 and recently had a health scare. It turns out to be fine but it really made me realize I should not take my good health for granted. It can change in an instant. I also strongly believe use it or lose it. Keep moving and don’t take your mobility for granted. You look great…..keep up the good work.

  8. Turmeric helps with inflammation which may be involved in joint pain.

  9. I was going to comment on this as well. It’s been several years when someone told me to begin taking Biotin but when I read up on it there was something I had that biotin interfered with but I couldn’t remember what it was!!! lol lol

  10. Geri Greco says:

    Well this was a great post! I have read your blog for a long time and would never guess you had any issues at all, since you are so attractive, thin and quite a decorating power house.
    We are all in the same boat and with the same mentality of keep it floating and maybeventervdome races we will def stay young no matter what cause it’s more our attitude about life that propels our boat.
    50 was a breeze and the along came 60. More joint pain. More knee stiffness in both knees from two torn meniscus surgeries. More daily back pain from my job as a honevstager/ photo styler. Slower than ever before but not slower than some 50. My body tells me I’m going to poop outnumbering my head says go for it.
    I am not overcweight but my whole life wanted to be thin like you. I still haven’t embraced me not going to look like a Victoria’s Crete model one day. I walk, dance by myself at home, do weight lifting videos at home and never stop moving till TV at night.
    We eat healthy and my motto is your motto, moderation. I don’t take meds for anything yet but rely on Ambien and aleeve. I go to physical therepy if I need a Bitcoin I’d help with Knesset etc. I had bad luck with chiropractors so try other things linebacker decorating, painting, and changing decor a lot.
    A passion for anything seems to make aging way better. Loved your post today and feel connected to woman aging and the ways we handle it. You are stunning and creative and a very lovely person. Be well and happy.

  11. I’m about 10 years behind you. I’m definitely feeling those aches and pains now. I wish I had worked out regularly when I was younger. I suffered with terrible hip pain a couple of years ago. My chiropractor would adjust me but never addressed why my hips were tight. It wasn’t until I started getting regular massages that I found relief. Stretching also is huge for me and I got a Temperpedic bed. All those things combined changed everything. I think it’s crazy that we don’t hear about muscles much. There aren’t muscle doctors….I finally realized why Yoga and Pilates are so popular ~ they keep those muscles stretched and keep them from getting tight. They really need blood flow. I follow a great chiropractor on Instagram. He has amazing stretches and workouts and he’s so kind to answer questions. He is dr.jacob.harden ~ scroll down a bit and check out his morning and evening stretches ~ so good. Maybe your hip flexors are super tight ~ massage really helps.

    • Thank you for sharing that, Karen. I’ve heard so many good things about yoga stretches, so I think it’s time to incorporate that into my daily routine. I’ll check out Jacob. I know I need to stretch my muscles a lot more and you’re right, it’s not talked about that much. We take it for granted when we’re younger.

  12. Thanks for this informative and helpful post! Our parents generation had it right….their “farm to table” was natural way before today when it is suddenly a “new” concept! Your parents have it exactly right!! I am almost 70 and have always tried to eat healthy while in moderation as you pointed out…..also doing arm weights, walking daily, and I do yoga 2x weekly classes and every day at home which has been wonderful for my balance, flexibility, and strength! Yoga is so great for the aging person in so many ways….I can’t recommend it enough! I know genetics are hugely important but keeping fit goes a long way to make our quality of life better!

    • Thank you, Leigh, all good points you make and another one who loves yoga, so there is something to those stretches.

  13. Ann Weisman says:

    I am 73 and have had the usual aches and pains. At I least I thought they were the usual. After lots of STUFF, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. Long story short, I discovered meditation and essential oils and it has changed everything. I manage my pain and emotions so well. I feel healthy again.

  14. Lynn Hutcherson says:

    Thank you so much Rhoda for your wonderful blogs and posts. This one was most interesting as I can certainly relate to much of it, right down to my parents praying over problems when my sister and I were kids. I don’t recall whether they had health insurance at that time or not (1950’s). I walk a lot. I currently take Calcium plus Vitamin D and fish oil. The other supplement I take is Collagen. I mix it in my iced tea, smoothies, etc. There is a bit of a taste to it, but I am used to it. It is good for the joints, my hair is much thicker and my nails have really enjoyed the benefits of it. I buy it in the 5 lb. quantity. I divide it up in zip loc bags and put in freezer until I need it. Here is the website for the product I use. https://www.customcollagen.com/store/5-lb-hydrolyzed-gelatin-collagen-peptides/
    People at church tell me how smooth my skin is and not many wrinkles. I attribute it to the collagen. Check it out! They have it on sale sometimes also. One scoop a day keeps many things away!

    • THank you, Lynn, I’m so glad you all enjoyed this post, I figured it would ring some bells with all of you too. I’m definitely taking notes on the collagen, so thanks for sharing what you use. I’m going to give this a try too.

  15. I’ve always enjoyed your posts on eating and exercise. It really inspires me to move more and eat good fresh food but the occasional indulgence is ok. Everything your doing is working well for you and we all have issues as we age. Thanks for a great post.

  16. great post, I also was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about a year ago, I want to read that Amy Myers book The Thyroid Connection – wonder if you could really reverse it and get off the meds – that would be great wouldn’t it? I have found the bread makes me feel bad, so have cut it out – your parents like my grandparents had gardens and didn’t ever consider prepared foods – their prepared foods were the ones THEY prepared lol, thanks again, we can learn a lot from each other!

  17. New to your blog. Glad to start off with this particular post. I think you keep good company in that your share is probably one many of us deal with. Want to grumble about what’s wrong with ourselves but don’t dare, thinking we have the no right since we’re waking and talking. Trulymissing the days when we didn’t have the aches and pains. I too “just do my best” when making healthy choices, but still want to enjoy life. It certainly is a balance.

    • Hi, Cheryl, welcome so glad you stopped by! Yes, all of us over 60 have to deal with all the things that come along with aging, so talking about it sometimes helps. Hope you’ll stick around for more!

  18. Thanks for sharing. I recently started liquid tumeric from Costco. I take it 2x per day. Incredible. Knees don’t hurt anymore. But, if I miss a dose….pain returns. Your parents are a tough act to follow.

  19. I too suffer from degeneration on my neck, that’s from a car accident I had twenty three years ago along with lower back pain that tends to trigger more during the winter. Arthritis tends to run in the family and I started developing it on my hips eight years ago in my thirties. I’am now 40 years old. I have gone to therapy and seen doctors about it but I have learned to do some of the exercises that I learned from my therapist. I have done them at home when the pain would come back and it has seemed to work. I have changed the way I eat in the past seven years. I have stuck with plant based food, tried to eat what is healthy for the body. I don’t really trust relying on medication unless I have no choice like my blood pressure pill, which I only take one and my dosage has been lowered , probably because I been eating healthier. For pain I would take aleve but I only take it when I can’t bare the pain. Between plant base food, strength training, cardio, yoga and dancing on Fridays with my family is not only a great way to get exercise, but also a great way to interact and spend time with your family and relieve stress after a long week of hard work for my husband and long busy week in school for my child. Who doesn’t love to hear music which is so good for the soul and dance! We do!
    I stumbled upon your post last night while on pinterest and I love your postings and enjoy reading about your screen porch renovation and about your past and your family. Thank you for sharing them with us. I look forward to seeing your future postings. Have a wonderful & blessed day!

    • HI, Melinda, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story. I think sharing and talking about issues are so helpful for all of us dealing with pains.

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