Feeling Ageless

The Benefits of Keeping Your Mind and Body Strong

My weight loss and fitness journey started when I was in my mid 50’s. Due to a chronic condition that developed in my left leg, I was told by my orthopedist that I could no longer walk long distances, which was my main form of exercise at that time. He told me that the only exercises I could do without hurting myself were riding a stationary bike (the upright kind only), or swimming. I knew how to swim, and enjoyed recreational time in the pool throughout my life, but swimming for fitness was out of my realm. And besides, I had already been coloring my hair for some time, and didn’t want to risk damaging that! So I joined a gym, and started riding the bike for a half hour at a time, with the intent of increasing that in increments as I got into better shape. I dabbled with upper body nautilus machines, and stretching, but overall I was so bored. I was also in denial about my weight.

After a few conversations with my neighbor about this, she convinced me to get into the pool. She had been on swim teams as a kid, and wanted to get back to it herself, so after a heart to heart about hair conditioners, I went for it, with my beloved neighbor at my side. It was slow going at first. I could barely get across the pool twice that first day. Soon I was swimming half miles, then finally a full mile. I got up to swimming 100 lengths at one point. I loved it! I started swimming a minimum of 3 times a week. I was becoming more aware of my 200 + lb weight and especially my size 16/18 physique, but I thought, “now that I’m swimming, the weight will melt right off”…. WRONG! So after a couple of particularly embarrassing photos I saw of myself during the holidays of 2011 (age 56), I made the decision to join WW.

It took me 3 years to lose 47 lbs, which I know is really slow, but I persevered, and today, at age 65, my weight is down an additional 3 lbs for a total loss of 50 lbs. And I am in the best shape of my life! I feel younger, and I look younger. At the family Hanukkah party my niece asked me if I was aging backwards. Of course I said yes! I am still working full time, I take great care of my skin (always have), and now my body is strong too. Yes, I have a few orthopedic issues, but I keep them managed with the pool workouts, which now include water jogging 3 times a week, and lap swimming on Saturdays and Sundays, daily stretching, and an anti inflammatory diet.

Make the most of your age. Here are a few suggestions to help you get to a younger mindset:

Try Something New

Keep an Open Mind About What Aging Looks Like

Tune Out the Negative Self Talk

Find People Who Inspire and Encourage You

Keep Moving

Focus on Goals and Celebrate Success

Me and my WW Tribe. These ladies have been my rock. Note that most of us are different ages and in different stages in life. And we are an extremely diverse group. All feeling happy, strong, and good about ourselves.

Today’s meal prep celebrates the end of winter with one last squash dish. I made a warm salad with a base of quinoa tossed with a tiny bit of parm, toasted chopped walnuts, and flavored with a little lemon zest, and topped with arugula, roasted delicata squash and scallions. I’ll be topping it with Trader Joe’s Shrimp Burgers. Here is the original recipe, which I hacked into a Baby Boomer Mermaid style lunch prep: https://naturallyella.com/arugula-delicata-squash-pasta/

Baby Boomer Mermaid style Roasted Delicata Squash and Arugula Salad with a Quinoa Base

I used 1 packet of Trader Joe’s Frozen Organic Quinoa, which is a full cup in total, and tossed it with salt, pepper, and a pinch of chile flakes, about 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and about a tablespoon of chopped toasted walnuts (which I keep handy for snacks – they are high on the list of the best anti inflammatory foods). I also added a little lemon zest. All the seasoning was per the original recipe, which was actually meant for pasta. I divided the quinoa into 1/4ths, and divided it into my containers. I topped that with raw arugula, then topped that with my roasted squash and scallion mixture, which I prepared according to the recipe. I pan fried the shrimp burgers to top off what will be my warm salad desk lunch, which I will heat up in the microwave at the office so the arugula will become slightly wilted and warm as well. I am figuring the whole plate at about 4 – 5 points (on the Blue Plan), counting the olive oil I used to roast the vegetables with.

This is what I like to eat. Please – scour the interwebs and find meal prep inspiration for yourselves.

My breakfasts this week will be blueberry yogurt bowls mixed with cinnamon, ground flax seeds and chia seeds topped with a sprinkling of Julian Bakery Pro Granola, which I have mentioned to you before. I’ll also take a mid morning snack to work consisting of a hard boiled egg (seasoned with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning), as well as an afternoon snack of a couple of mandarins and a light string cheese. That is my perfect pre workout snack, by the way.

Aging gracefully is a practice and a gift. Take care of yourselves. Thank you for stopping by today. Your comments, critiques, and questions are always welcome.

Find me on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marshaleeg54/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marshaleeg/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/marshaleeg/

Mid-Summer Check Point

Try Something New! Take Time for Yourself!

And WHOOSH! It’s already the middle of summer! I hope you have taken some time to care for yourselves and try some new things. I did! As you know, almost all of my workouts are in the pool, although I do some walking workouts as well. At the beginning of the summer I participated in a free trial at The Perfect Workout https://www.theperfectworkout.com. It’s circuit strength training, but in slow motion. With a trainer. I loved it. I’m so glad I tried it. I plan to make it part of my workout mix soon.

Water Jogging & Swimming. Now is the time to get in the pool!
Proper water jogging technique video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsamCiwQ9Ww

This week’s new food discovery is Bolt House Cole Slaw dressing. For the 4th of July we made baby back ribs. I know, a little bit of a cheat day for me, but it had been so long since I’d had them, and they were so good. Worth it. My husband seasoned them with Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend, then baked them, lightly covered with tin foil in a slow oven (250 degrees) for about 2 1/2 hours. During the last 1/2 hour he removed the foil and basted them with our favorite bbq sauce, and increased the temperature to 350 degrees. It’s important to allow them to rest a bit before serving. A perfect prep if you like your ribs falling off the bone like we do. Our side dish was coleslaw made with this dressing, celery salt, and celery seeds. Every flavor of Bolt House dressings I have tried have been delicious. They are rich, and do not taste low cal at all https://www.bolthouse.com/. They are located in the refrigerator section in the produce department of the grocery store.

This week I’ll be making the same slaw using broccoli slaw

I’ve gotten back into cottage cheese over the last couple of weeks. I was craving a change from non fat Greek yogurt. I bought the low fat cultured cottage cheese, and really enjoyed the creaminess and texture of it. So far I’ve only used it with fruit for breakfast, but am looking forward to using it for savory meals and snacks as well. I want to try it with Everything But The Bagel seasoning, for example. I also want to try it layered with steamed vegetables, as was suggested to me by a good friend. Watch for those preps in later blogs.

Low Fat Cultured Cottage Cheese topped with apricot and blueberries.

At the beginning of today’s blog, I brought up the importance of taking care of ourselves, taking time for ourselves. Make that facial or massage appointment. Read that book. Go to the beach by yourself or with your best friend. Take time to care for yourself and give yourself a big loving hug. You deserve it.

That’s all for today! As always, your comments, questions, and critiques are welcome.

Find me on social media:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/marshaleeg54/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marshaleeg/

Pinterest (where all of my recipe inspirations are): https://www.pinterest.com/marshaleeg/

Have a great week, my friends!

Dealing with Orthopedic Issues AND Foot Problems. Oy Vey!

As we age, albeit gracefully, our bodies reflect the wear and tear of life. About 12 years ago, I developed tendinosis in my left leg, and more recently have been dealing with age related back issues. In both cases I was able to manage the pain, and avoid surgery, and that is my wish for you.

For the tendinosis, I saw an orthopedist who specialized in foot and ankle injuries. He put me in a non weight bearing cast for 6 weeks. Not fun, but better than surgery. Because this was a chronic (and genetic) issue for me, caused by my foot going flat when I walked, he rocked my world by telling me that 1) losing weight would be a good idea, 2) that I should not walk long distances, or run. Ever. Instead get in the pool or ride an upright stationary bike for exercise. And 3) that I basically had to wear orthopedic shoes the rest of my life. Lucky for me, his best suggestion was wood clogs, which at least can be cute. The reason for the clogs is because some of the design characteristics they have include anatomically contoured arch support, rocker-bottom soles, and heel elevation—an attribute that some doctors believe eases the strain on leg and back muscles.

Here are my 3 recommendations for the best clogs in the market: Sven
https://www.svensclogs.com/ ; Clog Master
https://www.clogmaster.com/ ; and Dansko. I am not adding a link for Dansko, as they can be widely found in stores and websites in a variety of styles and price points. There are now great shoe brands on the market, developed by podiatrists . To mention a few: Vionic
https://www.vionicshoes.com/ ; Abeo
https://www.abeofootwear.com/ ; Aetrex https://www.aetrex.com, and Sofft https://www.sofftshoe.com/

This was all a big blow, but eventually it lead me to my WW journey, the loss of 50 lbs, and most importantly to the water, which has become not only my sport of choice, but my haven, my happy place. This was my silver lining.

Last year my back went out completely. My MRI showed age related natural deterioration of my lower back. I once again decided to go the conservative route and avoid surgery. I went straight into physical therapy for pain management, and to regain my strength. I did this in conjunction with acupuncture. To this day, I start every day with the stretches that my physical therapist gave me. In addition, I decided to attack the situation internally as well. I added anti inflammatory foods to my diet as well as a couple of natural anti inflammatory supplements. Those are Turmeric, and something called Inflamma Less, which I found at CVS. Whole Foods also carries it, and you can find it online. Here is the link to my Pinterest board for the anti inflammatory recipes:

Lets go back to the discussion about getting in the water. DO IT. It really is the best non impact exercise out there. Many orthopedic specialists highly recommend it, and aqua physical therapy is common. For good reason. There are many things you can do in the water. I swim and water jog. Check out U Tube for videos showing all of the great and fun aqua aerobics techniques out there. But pay attention to the techniques! They are super important so you don’t hurt yourself. Allow me to address some of the reasons s you may be skeptical. 1) you are scared of the water, or don’t know how to swim: find a municipal pool in your area and take an aqua aerobic class, or beginners swim class. 2) protecting your hair: before putting on your swim cap douse your hair with water. That fills up the hair shafts so that the chlorine can’t get in. In addition to that, add a conditioner. 3) you don’t want to wear a swimsuit in public: believe me, no one looks, especially in the aqua aerobics classes! But for good choices of conservative swimsuits that fit check out:
https://www.swimoutlet.com/ ;
https://www.swimsuitsforall.com ;

Now for this week’s meal prep! My weight has been plateaued for months, so I decided to change up my breakfasts. This week I’m having a variation on yogurt and berries. I found this in Eating Well Magazine this month.

Beet Raspberry Yogurt

I also made pumpkin oatmeal in my slow cooker. This one is in honor of my beloved niece Eden, who loves everything pumpkin. Here is the link to the original recipe, but I substituted rolled oats, as that is what I had in my pantry. I also used less liquid (2 cups), which for me was unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Because I used the rolled oats instead of steel cut, I also cut the cooking time in half. It could have been cut even more though. I tasted it. It’s really yummy. I did not add any honey or other sweetener. I did add some ground flax seed and chia seeds for the health benefits. Those do not affect the overall flavor of the dish.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal for Eden
Not pretty, but very tasty and healthy

For my desk lunch this week I am having Palmini “pasta salad”. Palmini is a past swap I learned of from Hungry Girl. I get her daily e mails, and listen to her podcasts. If you aren’t aware of her, you should be. Look her up:

Palmini is actually Hearts of Palm cut into linguine like “noodles”. I have tossed them with sliced fresh cucumber, diced red onion, sliced sweet mini peppers. When I put the salad together in the morning, I’ll add fresh cherry tomatoes, and my homemade red wine vinaigrette dressing, recipe courtesy of WW.com. My protein of choice this week is shrimp. I also made quinoa. I thought that would add texture and protein. I’ll let you know how that goes. Palmini can be found on Amazon. I do not know if it is carried at any grocery stores at this point:

“Pasta” Salad Ingredients
Palmini Pasta Salad
Red Wine Vinaigrette

That is all for now! Please join the conversation.

Have a great week!