Question: 

You look so youthful for your age. Can you give me some guidelines for looking and feeling my best?

First of all, I’d like to give you some perspective about exercise, diet, and mental attitude. These are each key to looking your best and feeling your best. I’ve always exercised. I love to hike as you can see from the Garland Park Series. I also workout at the gym and I find time quiet time for myself … so I can step away from stress and enjoy life more fully.

I notice if you get yourself to the gym, you’ll work out. If you get yourself to the park you’ll hike. If you get yourself good foods you’ll eat them. If you take time for yourself you will feel and look more relaxed and joyful.

I have been working out for decades. Individuals like me can probably relate with what I am going to share. When I was in my twenties (I’m now fifty-five) we had few fitness supplements… but the popular ones were wheat germ oil and protein powder. The protein powder was like mixing plaster. We had two flavors. Vanilla “plaster” or Chocolate “plaster.”  Also, the first protein bars looked like silly puddy and tasted like vitamin-chalk. But that’s what we had.

There were few health clubs, or stores that carried health foods, or books on diet and exercise. Choices were limited. But today there is a huge variety of gyms and health clubs, supplements, and books on staying fit. In fact there are so many choices, that it can be a bit overwhelming for those who are just getting started. But that’s the key just get started. As I said, I have always exercised. From swimming, biking, hiking, running, tennis, and the like, I love to exercise. What do you like to do for exercise? Just get started. I like the saying, the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

Also, I take vitamins and minerals. And yes, I still take protein powder, but now it tastes so much better!  And it mixes easily. Whey protein powder is a helpful supplement before and after a workout to stay lean, healthy, and fit. (Go to Barry’s Corner for more information.) Protein feeds the muscles in your body and protein is important. Another good source for protein is cooking up egg whites.  I include chicken, fish, and cottage cheese in my diet. I watch my choice of carbohydrates. Yes, veggies and fruits. Also I eat as much organically as possible.

Again, balancing diet with exercise is key.  It’s amazing the results you can get when you are motivated and stick to a routine with diet and exercise. I love to cook meals that are low calorie, filling, and taste good.

Here are a few to get you started:

CHICKEN:

Two or three thin sliced chicken breasts

In a frying pan add Kraft Light Asian Toasted Sesame reduced fat dressing

(Or any Asian Sesame reduced fat brand you like)

Simmer in a pan (with water) until chicken is cooked (chicken cooks surprisingly fast)

One cup of cooked Brown rice with slight chicken bouillon seasoning flavor

Steam your favorite vegetables (Now you can get them premade in a bag)

Combine together on a plate and enjoy.

(you can use a butter spray on the veggies for added flavor)

It’s easy, simple, healthy and tastes great.

 

SOUP:

My friends love Jessica’s pea soup.

1 package of Green peas

1 large onion chopped/diced

Shredded carrots (about two cups)

Basil to your taste (I use Gourmet Garden Basil Blend) really good!

Dash of pepper

2 tablespoons of chicken bouillon seasoning, add to your taste.

Dash of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (No MSG)  add to your taste.

You can add diced ham (cooked) about 1 cup, depending on your taste.

Start with about six cups of water… choose more or

less water depending on how thick you want the soup to be.

Let simmer until flavors are fully blended. (Usually about two hours. Stir regularly.)

This is so simple, low calorie and flavorful.

 

EGGS:

This is one that I whipped up creatively. It’s a quiche.

Two flour pie shells

Mix together in a large container:

A medium size bag of spinach (organic preferably) I use Earthbound Farm.  (You can microwave the spinach for a few seconds to lessen its volume.)

9 – 12 eggs depending on their size

One 16 oz container of salsa (your favorite choice –  not bottled or canned.  Start with mild or medium, versus hot.

3 cups cheddar cheese (more or less depending on your taste)

Stir together ingredients and pour into the pie shells

Cover the ingredients with a light sprinkle of Italian Style Bread Crumbs.

Cook at 350 degrees for about an hour and ½,   depending on your oven.

(middle rack)  Cover with tin foil for the first hour.

 

This is easy, simple, and healthy.

As you can see, I don’t give exact measurements because you can play with these recipes.

The choices we have today are so much better than years ago. Just get out there and take advantage of these choices.

This puts you ahead in so many ways to reach your goals of feeling and looking great.  The sooner you start, and begin seeing results, the easier it is to maintain a youthful and joyous life.