Healthy eating habits for women over 50

July 18, 2019
Healthy eating habits - smoked salmon and salad

Healthy eating habits - smoked salmon and salad

This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson.  I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way.  To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.

You are what you eat & drink!

Pamela says:

It’s time to look at what you’re eating. The right foods will not only keep you healthy, but will also help you deal with menopause, boost your energy and improve your looks. It’s all about common sense and moderation. Certainly you can’t eat as much as you did 20 years ago, but there’s no need for severe dieting and deprivation. Choose foods that taste good and do you good, and you’ll be set – include wholegrains, lean protein, a colourful array of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and ‘good’ fats.

The youth diet

Want to have that youthful glow? Experts recommend a diet that includes low-GI oatmeal, antioxidant-rich berries, green vegetables (such as broccoli), ‘good’ oils (avocado, nuts, olive oil), omega-3 packed fish (salmon is ideal) and lots of water. Cut down on dehydrating alcohol and caffeine, carcinogenic fried foods and most of all, cell-damaging sugar.

Oil and water DO mix

One of the best things you can do for your brain and body health is to ditch the extreme no-oil or low-fat fad. You’ll look and feel better if you eat fat (but continue to avoid saturated fats, found in junk food). Water is another essential – banish tiredness, irritability and headaches with the recommended daily dose of eight glasses.

A note on alcohol

The Good News First

Having a couple of alcoholic drinks a day can slow bone loss in post-menopausal women. It is also thought to help ward against heart attacks – when taken in moderation.

After Good News Always Comes Not So Good News

But alcohol has also long been known to increase the risk of breast cancer. This increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. One recent study of 70,000 women showed that three drinks a day was the equivalent risk level as smoking a packet of cigarettes a day. There is no different between the types of drink. The risk factor is the alcohol itself.

Healthy Eating Habits - White wine and red wine and green grapes and red grapes

My thoughts:

I’m no nutritionist or dietician but I’ve done my research over the years and I know what’s good for us and what isn’t and most importantly, what works for me and what doesn’t work for me.

I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older my taste has changed.  I’m drawn more to healthier food options.  They agree with me more. I still have my moments but on a whole, I generally eat quite healthy food options.  

Eating healthy does not mean sacrificing taste and enjoyment. In fact I find healthy foods delicious!

Some of my favourite foods

Some of my favourite foods are:

  • Salmon (full of Omega3) – I love smoked salmon for lunch with some salad and I also love to cook up salmon fillets with crispy skin for dinner.  Here’s where you can see the recipe for my favourite salmon dinner – Honey Soy Salmon (plus there’s a bonus extra recipe at that link for Curry in a Hurry).
  • Avocado (good fat) – I love Avocado mashed up with lemon juice and pepper – on toast for breakfast.  I add some crumbled feta (protein & calcium for healthy bones) and walnuts (good fat and Omega3) on top.
  • Blueberries and/or Strawberries (healthy fibre & antioxidants) with a spoonful or two of some Greek Yoghurt (protein and calcium for healthy bones) is a nice sweet treat after dinner.
  • Eggplant (high fibre, low calorie, B6, Potassium, Vit C) – I love it chargrilled – yum!

Those are just a few. There are many other healthy foods I enjoy that are also deliciously tasty.  

Sugar Alternative

I don’t have sugar in my coffee anymore but I still like it sweetened.  I use Stevia – a much better option that I’ve adapted to quite easily.  I keep one for my handbag and one for home. They’re 0.004 Cal per tablet – suitable for Vegan, Gluten Free, and Lactose Free.

My Vices

Coffee is my vice and I need to reduce how many cups of coffee I have during the day. However, in my defence, I’m one of those weird people who like weak coffee. I only have 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee and if making my ‘pod’ expresso coffee I go for the weaker options.  I always ask for ‘half strength’ coffee when I order out.

My other vices are all things savoury.  I have a weakness for savoury biscuits, cheeses and dips.  The best way to manage this weakness is to not have these things in my house!  However, I do have Rye Cruskits in my house and though they are only 21 calories per cruskit, I eat far too many of them for that to be of solace to me!  I fear they too may need to get their marching orders!


It appears I could be lactose intolerant so for milk in my coffee I alternate between Almond Milk and Liddells Lactose Free Skim Milk.  

I try and drink water through my days but I find it hard during winter (easier in summer) so need to up the ante here!  How do you go with your water intake?

I rarely drink alcohol anymore. At one point I had got myself into the habit of having a glass or two or three of wine each night as I prepared dinner.  I put a stop to that a long time ago.  Now if ever I do have a drink – it’s usually only when I’m out and only ever one, two at maximum.  It’s not that I am wearing a halo or being very self disciplined.  It’s simply because  my body no longer wants it!  After one (two at max) glass my body says very loud and clearly – no more!  

Why we need to eat healthy foods

To wrap up – from midlife and beyond it’s important to eat healthy foods in order to keep our weight under control and for good nutrition, but not only for those reasons.  It’s also important for our mental alertness and to boost our resistance to illness!   At the end of the day, Pamela is quite right …

You are what you eat and drink!

Don’t you think it’s interesting how much our palettes change from childhood (when we love everything sugary sweet) through to midlife (where we seem to instinctively enjoy foods that make us feel good – i.e. not sick from eating the sugary sweet stuff of our childhood dreams)!  What are some of your favourite healthy foods?

Ciao for now,


Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
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  • Reply Natalie July 18, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Hi Min – We sure need to pay attention to what we eat and drink. Some of your favourite foods are high on my list, too. It’s summer here so I try to enjoy the fresh berries and produce like eggplants as often as possible. lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Min July 18, 2019 at 1:07 pm

      You have good taste in food then Natalie! lol 🙂 xo

      • Reply Natalie July 31, 2019 at 7:59 am

        Hi Min – The warm summer weather makes it easy not to do indoor cooking (e.g. too hot to turn the oven on) and our summer seems short so I take advantage of the fresh veggies and fruit when they’re in season. #MLSTL

        • Reply Min July 31, 2019 at 11:40 am

          Good on you Natalie! My favourite season for fruits is summer when all the stone fruits are in season. It’s around Christmas time over here that the choice of fruits are amazing! 🙂

  • Reply Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond July 18, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Hi Min, you know my views on living a healthy lifestyle. So many delicious foods that are good for us – why would we go the easy route of ‘fast food’? My husband and I stopped drinking alcohol in March 2018 and still haven’t had any. I know I’m feeling better and my skin is certainly looking healthier. #lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Min July 18, 2019 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Sue, yes I know your views on healthy living are similar to mine (though you are so much fitter than me!). I truly do enjoy healthy foods and don’t miss the daily wine I used to have at all. xo

      • Reply Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond July 31, 2019 at 7:52 am

        Hi Min, thanks for sharing this at #MLSTL we can encourage healthy eating enough can we? Once you make it a lifestyle change you start to notice how good healthy foods tastes and it doesn’t have to be boring. Enjoy your week, Min!

        • Reply Min July 31, 2019 at 11:38 am

          I agree Sue – healthy eating doesn’t need be boring at all. I love a lot of healthy nutritious foods and eating this way makes me feel good. xo

  • Reply Joanne Tracey July 18, 2019 at 8:46 am

    I’m on week 3 of cutting out the midweek wines & I’m missing it, but know it’s better for me to continue to go without – my 1 glass a night had become 2 large glasses and sometimes more. I’m not a massive eggplant fan but have been making an eggplant dip of late that I really love. While I bake I don’t eat sugar – or sugar substitutes, but my biggest vice is good bread. Oh, how I love a fabulous sourdough!

    • Reply Min July 18, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      You can do it Jo! If I can do it you can too. I was having 1-3 glasses of wine every single night. I only ever drink socially now and only 1-2 glasses. Sometimes I might have a Bailey’s on ice but not often. Oooo Eggplant dip sounds interesting. I must say that I love bread too and yes – sourdough – sigh!!

  • Reply Deborah July 18, 2019 at 10:41 am

    I need to step up my consumption of healthy foods. I keep saying that but never do it, but guess I’m increasingly conscious of my need to – if that makes sense.

    I’m doing Dry July and it was really hard initially cos I’m just used to having a wine at night. I don’t every night but I found it was more the thought I wasn’t ALLOWED that made me fret. It reminded me of my strict dieting days and RULES!!! Bit of a headf*ck!

    • Reply Min July 18, 2019 at 1:15 pm

      It’s a matter of finding healthy foods that you really like and enjoy! I’m sure there are some. It’s hard to stop doing something that has become part of your usual routine. I’ll never forget giving up smoking. Hardest thing I ever did. Much, much harder than stopping the wine/s every night. Sometimes replacing one thing with a healthier but nice option helps. Otherwise, reducing before ceasing might be a better option!

  • Reply Vanessa July 18, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    I was missing veggies so much when I was away for work the other week. So much so that when one of the lunch options was salad, I couldn’t stop talking about it haha.

    • Reply Min July 18, 2019 at 3:41 pm

      Haha – I know that feeling well! My body gets all out of whack if I’m away from my regular eating routine.

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl July 18, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Coffee, sugar, wine and chocolate are my vices. But I think a little of what you fancy on a regular basis is what good nutrition should be about. I’ve changed the rest of my diet to allow for these. Lots of home made, batch cooked things for lunch and breakfast. Less carbs, more veg, protein and healthy fats. I do feel better eating this way. It gives me energy and the taste buds to really enjoy my treats.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Min July 21, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      I can sympathise with the coffee – no way can I give that up. Sugar I’ve reduced but haven’t totally eliminated. Wine I only have on social occasions so it’s not really a problem. Choccy – I love but don’t have as often now. I snack on too many cruskits and savoury biccies though. Sounds to me like your eating habits are pretty good though SSG. I think we’re both doing pretty good! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Christie Hawkes July 18, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    I needed this reminder today, Min, as I’ve gotten into some bad habits this summer. I do like the healthy foods, but I also love sweets! Some of the healthy foods I love are all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, edamame, and quinoa. I do enjoy my morning coffee and the occasional glass of wine or ice cold beer. One drink is enough for me. Here’s to a healthy, tasty summer!

    • Reply Min July 21, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      I don’t mind the odd sweet myself Christie but I guess it’s not often enough to be a problem. I had to Google ‘Edamame’. I had never heard of it! I see its ” a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod, found in cuisines with origins in East Asia.” It looks a bit like sweet peas/snap peas/sweet peas. I enjoy quinoa too! Cheers! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Di from Max The Unicorn July 19, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    I use Stevia or Natvia to sweeten my coffee instead of sugar as well, but still need to lay off the chocolate and baked treats!

    • Reply Min July 21, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Oh yes – the baked treats! *sigh* I have sugar under control when it comes to my coffee etc but not when it comes to baked goods!

  • Reply Bree July 31, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Another great post. Yes we certainly do need to keep in check what we eat and drink. Most of the time I do eat low carb..however I have been known to indulge in chocolate…..#MLSTL

    • Reply Min July 31, 2019 at 11:40 am

      I must admit that I indulged in some chocolate only yesterday Bree, so you’re not alone there! lol

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian July 31, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Hi Min, I also drink my coffee half strength. It is a habit I got into during my first few years of retirement when we started having more time to linger in the morning. More time, more coffee! I eat healthy most of the time, lots of fruits and veggies, but I have my splurges – usually something fried. I have been off sugar and alcohol for about a month and have noticed significant changes in the way I feel. I enjoyed your post. #MLSTL

    • Reply Min July 31, 2019 at 11:41 am

      Hi Suzanne – it’s so good to come across someone else who drinks coffee at half strength! Most people think I’m crazy when I tell them that! I know what you mean about more time to linger and at home to indulge in coffee. I have that problem too and I’m particularly bad at having too many cups of coffee during winter! x

  • Reply Leanne | July 31, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Min – I’m in complete agreement with all of this! I’m another weak coffee person (I’ve even gone 1/4 strength at some cafes where I know they serve really strong coffee). I’m also drinking LF Milk these days in the hope that it will reduce my “old lady” cough, and it seems to be helping (less congestion??) I also have the added benefit of not enjoying the taste of wine (I’m a pleb) so alcohol isn’t an issue for me (or my waistline). And I agree with Pam about being able to eat less these days than in my 20’s – damn that Midlife metabolism!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Reply Min August 2, 2019 at 8:47 am

      Hi Leanne – fantastic to know you’re another weak coffee person! I sometimes go 1/4 strength when I’m at places I know have very strong coffee. Lots of things in common here – the coffee strength, LF milk, rarely drinking wine etc. Happy August! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Candi Randolph July 31, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Love this post, Min! Lots of great advice and reminders that some things are good for us, but only in moderation. I try to keep sweets like cookies far away from me. If they’re in the house I’ll eat them for sure! Wise choices in our diet can definitely help us look better and live longer. Sharing on SM #MLSTL

    • Reply Min August 2, 2019 at 8:49 am

      Thanks Candi. I’m the same – anything yummy but naughty in the house and I find it hard to stay away from them. Hence why I need to not have them in the house! 😉

  • Reply Patrick Weseman August 1, 2019 at 1:20 am

    I had a recent health scare that made me change my diet. I had to cut out all processed foods and go to a more natural diet and I am starting to like it. Thanks for sharing these tips. #MLSTL

    • Reply Min August 2, 2019 at 8:50 am

      I’m sorry to hear you had a health scare Patrick but pleased you’ve been proactive and changed your diet to a healthier one. Your taste buds will adjust and yes you will eventually love the healthier food options! 🙂

  • Reply Patricia Doyle August 1, 2019 at 2:46 am

    HI Min, Visiting from #MLSTL and I always love your “realistic” approach to living and eating healthy. About 6 months ago, I got hooked on avocado toast for breakfast. I find it also fills me up and I’m not looking at bad lunch choices, too much. My downfall is french-fries. Ah well. I’m continuing to work on more fruits and veggies, less bread, and more water. I’ve actually noticed that my shift to smaller portions (about 6 months ago started watching portion size more closely) has resulted in me being less able to eat big portions! I’m learning how to deal with leftovers a lot more! Thanks for sharing real approaches to healthy eating.

    • Reply Min August 2, 2019 at 8:53 am

      Thanks Patricia = Isn’t avocado on toast delicious?! Good for us too which is awesome. Ohhh those french fries … I sometimes indulge but try and steer clear. I have to be careful with what fruits I eat because I have a reflux problem (I avoid acidic fruits) … but generally find berries the best for me. Portion size is so important so you’re right on track there. I actually can’t eat as much as I used to. My problem is snacking!! Ugh! x

  • Reply Theresa Muth August 1, 2019 at 2:48 am

    Thanks for these reminders! I am one to drink a glass of wine (or 2) while preparing dinner. It’s a habit I’ve gotten into and should probably put an end to as you did. Such great advice here! I will be sharing on sm. #MSTL

    • Reply Min August 2, 2019 at 8:54 am

      If I can cut out the glass of wines while preparing dinner you can too Theresa. I think I started though but just cutting back. Initially only allowing myself 1 glass each night and then cut back how many nights I could have a wine, before eventually cutting it out all together. Good luck! 🙂

  • Reply Debbie Harris August 1, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Min, all this sounds just like me! I try to watch what I eat and am now on cholesterol medication as diet alone wasn’t working. Water is a big one for me too, especially in winter but I do have lots of black tea which I’m sure helps! I haven’t had any alcohol since this time last year and I don’t miss kit at all. I was never a big drinker, (in fact my daughters tell me I didn’t drink) but I gave up due to some tests I’d had and decided to change my diet around. It was only ever going to be for a short time but I’m used to not drinking now! Great post with useful information #mlstl

    • Reply Min August 2, 2019 at 8:58 am

      Fancy it sounding just like you Deb! lol Sounds to me like you’re on the right path for a healthy lifestyle. I’m far from perfect – still eat some naughty things now and then but that’s ok. Just need to get a grip on my little snacking problem! 😉

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