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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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,
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