Senior Nutrition Options and Opinions

by Mary
(WV)

Seniors, start your engines! Nutrition - what is it? It is the key to our 'go power'. At it's best it can help us feel better, think better, move better and keep us going strong. Of course, the flip side to this is another story altogether.

Poor nutrition or unbalanced choices can leave us feeling like @#*!, not able to focus our thoughts well, as well as trigger all sorts of serious health conditions.

We first think that it's a matter of money and or will power. Money to buy the best of all the choices available whenever we feel like it. Will power to overcoming cravings, temptations and overfilling our bodies before we realize we are already 'full'.

Not so simple, folks. You can have a great race car, but without the right maintenance and pitcrew and the support of your 'sponsors', you can be left in the dust.

People who are blessed with a good source of income can still be malnourished. Rushing about grabbing a quick snack or whatever is handy- fast food or the leftovers in the fridge. Waiting till we are too tired, hungry to make wise choices can cost us a healthier body.

Theses days, making the most of our resources-money, time and especially energy is so very important. The same is true to getting proper nutrition.

Reading the track
It pays to learn about what your specific dietary needs are and how you can navigate through the mazes of food sources. How do we sort through all the myriad tv ads, web sites and the latest 'buzz' on what's good and not good. It seems to keep changing and it can be very frustrating to find what best for you and your family.

Have a solid 'pit crew'
Time to talk with your doctor, diabetes educator or registered dietician before you launch into a new eating plan. Once you get approved guidelines, stay positive, take small steps so you don't get discouraged. Fall off the wagon? Don't beat yourself up, just get back on track and keep on going.

Line up your $ponsors
Options- sharing meal chores with neighbors- pot lucks or planned menus, even once a week can be fun and take the load off preparing an entire meal alone.

Some senior centers offer hot meals on site or delivered. Be sure to check out the menu first. See how it meets your needs. Ask about how the meals are prepared.

Checking under the hood
Do you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions- sodium, sugars, starches, fats, hot spices, etc. Ask if they offer any substitutions or can accommodate your medical requirements.

If the meals are high in calories or other things you have trouble with try dividing the meal and then adding your own choice of fresh fruit or non-starchy vegetable.

Pit Stops
Just remember, your body needs refueling every 2-3 hours. Not a lot at one time, just enough so you don't crash. Share a meal, take turns buying fresh veggies and fruits with a friend or neighbor. This is helpful when you are single and don't want to have a whole lot of produce go bad before you can use it up.

Crossing the finish line a winner
Remember you are never too old to learn about good nutrition and you deserve the best body you can have. You are a 'seasoned driver' and you can still show the young kids how to win the good nutrition race. Congratulations and many happy dining!

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