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

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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!

the 60s aging gracefully

The 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

{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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

{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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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!

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

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.

the 60s aging gracefully

{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!

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- Rhoda

Comments

  1. Donna Madison says:

    Hello, I have been experiencing hip issues for a couple years after straining my upper hamstring. The PT I was seeing mentioned that if you strain a muscle that it can cause your hips to get out of alignment. This can cause hip and back pain and muscle stains. My PT would fix the alignment for me and said I should be able to do at home. I searched for self aligmnent on YouTube and it has helped so much. That plus lots of stretching (constantly!) and strengthening.

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