(The Battle for the Body)
Analyzing the components of what to eat using
my gastronomic chemistry set is essential for concocting a
wall of defense against the assault on my health or a longer
lifespan. Being a senior citizen and wanting to graduate to
being a wise old person is a constant challenge that makes
it is necessary to carefully pick & choose my poisons.
It is full-time battle against all odds and involves not only
the woeful time spent at the table, but also the pre-research
and calculation processes I must perform to decide what and
when to eat. If it is good or bad for me, what it will cure,
what it will prevent, and what body part will fall off or
which it will add by its consumption.
I prepare oatmeal for breakfast. It is a heart-healthy fiber
that supports my body's fight against BAD cholesterol, and
not because the glob in the bowl is a mouth-watering delicacy.
I use non-fat milk because it is what it says it is, and instead
of sugar, I use just a taste of honey, since it is rich in
antioxidants that prevent cancer and adds a golden color to
the glob. I remember when I ate honey just because it tasted
good. I add a few blueberries or raisins to the glob, if I
have any; they also help fight the BAD cholesterol. 'I know,
I know' some of the affluent boomers eat hand rolled Cheerios
and freshly squeezed banana juice, but this glob is what I
am stuck with.
Salmon also helps the heart but I just cannot see spreading
it on top of my oatmeal this early in the day. I sprinkle
a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon on it, which is extra decorative
color and improves the glucose metabolism, and prevents my
body taken prisoner by diabetes 2. I do all these things because
I was told to do so by my supporting army of published nutritionists,
and I add a glass of orange juice because it contains everything
good, including the sun, as does any fresh fruit. It also
lowers blood pressure.
I eat it all my breakfast and feel invincible.
After the morning ritual of preparing breakfast, I realize
the real-life normal function of food consumption has become
a fundamental part of my entire day. Not surprising, since
it happens at least 3 times, and takes up so much of my time
and cash; eating has become a full-time struggle to protect
myself against the invasion of bad things. Now I'm not an
expert, and I'm not a member of the accumulation of experienced
researchers and nutritionists who rally around to protect
my body, if I were I'd have to write a book to qualify, but
I do bring a lifetime of eating experience to the table.
After oozing down my breakfast, I feel like a satisfied kid.
I feel like a successful chemist. I also feel confused because
lunch is just a few hours away. Lately I have had the paranoid
feeling that everything I consume is a life-threatening plot
against my longevity. Believe me, this is not half as much
fun as flirting with the server while downing hash browns,
ham or bacon or sausage, and eggs with buttered toast. Many
days I have been tempted to sacrifice a few hours of the unknown
future for a single meal of joy; and some days the temptation
wins. However, do not tell anyone in my army.
There are so many convoluting, contradicting, and proven studies
and marketing statements that it's hard to boil them down
to fit into an ideal, yet non-intrusive, nutritional lifestyle.
Let us take 'Cool
Water'. I have always
been told to drink eight 8oz. glasses of water per day. Recently
that has been revealed as a myth, probably started by well
diggers, because we only lose about 1 liter of water a day
through sweat and bodily processes; about four glasses. What
is the world coming to? If nutrition experts cannot figure
out water, how can I believe them about steak? Then the questions
arise, how much to drink, when, and what? When the time comes
and I feel thirsty as a prospector in the Mojave Desert, they
say I am already dehydrated.
In addition, they say, bottled water does not contain enough
fluoride to prevent cavities in children (not my problem anymore),
and some tap water contains health-harming bacteria or parasites.
A filtration system under the kitchen sink that performs reverse
osmosis (RO) is a great answer while I am at home, but a better
answer would be a RO built into my body so I can drink from
a public fountain or out of the river. There is a $1,000,000
idea for some genius human-body technician.
The scariest part of the day: What is for lunch? Here my gastronomic
chemistry set is used to analyze the rations I am about to
eat, and choose what I will not eat. Hot dogs and the usual
processed meats I consume between bread on sandwiches, besides
being fattening, contain preservatives, additives, and other
chemicals used for processing. They include toxic nitrates
and nitrites, or chemicals formed during processing, and can
pull the trigger of the gun aimed at my nervous system. They
are snipers in the body also knocking off elements sensitive
to insulin, and thus provide another chance of taken prisoner
by Diabetes 2.
Soup is good, home cooked is better and some canned are OK,
but there are so many flavors and recipes that thorough research
is involved to avoid fats and retain nutrients. Eating fast
food is a notoriously and highly publicized bad-bad no-no
exposed for a multitude of chemical outlaws. A salad bar never
fails the fast food test unless it is loaded with pepperoni
and sausage from the pizza bar or covered with chocolate syrup
from the desert bar.
Dinner can offer one hope in this siege against my body surrounded
by an army of destructive elements. That is, if I avoid red
meat and pork, which poke red flags along the colon; pizza,
which has more artery hardening fat than a cheeseburger; and
potatoes, which are good, but with butter or gravy are fattening.
Pasta carries a guarantee to make love-handle bulges on my
sides. Chicken and turkey sans fatty skin are OK if not deep-fried
in bad oil or smothered in a fattening cream sauce. Fresh
vegetables steamed or slightly boiled are good chemicals but
taste like vegetables that are steamed or boiled, again, no
butter. Fresh vegetable salads are the best if tainted with
vinegar and olive oil.
Dessert is OK as long as it is non-fat, non-sugar, non-white
flour, and served with the perfect taste and texture of cardboard
or Plaster of Paris. Dark chocolate contains those helpful
antioxidants. What can I say about Jell-O?
My gastronomic chemistry set, as you see, is merely a lifetime
of knowledge I have collected over the years in my fight for
life. After a while, it becomes a habit to me, and it should
be for you, sort of like breathing
and that is not
a bad idea either.
taken from the Book 'How to Have Fun with Retirement'
(Or: Dreams Don't Stop at Any Age)
What is a dream anyway? It normally is considered
a series of mental images and emotions that occur during sleep.
The life of the mind while resting on your pillow after being
tapped on the brain by the sandman. Or, it could be a cherished
desire or ambition while you are awake. You know, to be younger,
smarter, and more athletic or attractive.
Dreaming while being wide awake is another possibility, called
day dreaming, or in other words, a state of mind characterized
by abstraction and the release from the reality around us.
Or again it could be what many of us want, the incredible
but vain hope of being someone else. You know, indulging in
a fantasy or an illusion.
Then there is the impossible dream. There are many ways to
go insane, and this could be one of them. Of course, you remember
the lyrics to that popular song of the same name - "Dream
the impossible dream; to fight the unbeatable foe; to bear
with unbearable sorrow; to run where the brave dare not go."
But are you brave today? Do you really feel like a fight?
Interpreting dreams can make the time pass, if not enlighten
you to your inner feelings. Dreams typically reflect whatever
thought, feeling and awareness is on your mind at the time
of the dream. The lottery can mean you need some money. Being
chased? Most of these dreams are inspired by fears of violence,
or maybe you are watching too much TV. To dream that you are
eating an apple signifies harmony, pleasure, and fertility.
Dreaming about blue (not the blues) represents truth, wisdom,
devotion, tranquility, loyalty and openness. Perhaps you are
expressing a wish to get away. Interpreting dreams can go
on and on and take up a lot of retirement time.
Or perhaps, coming back down to earth, the dream is that perfect
mate you married; he/she is a dreamboat, or the person you
desire to date. Or that dessert you just had after dinner,
or the new car or boat you just bought that rides like a dream.
But truly, in reality maybe the only thing you want is that
dream house to retire in. You know, the one set next to a
small lake or stream, surrounded by trees and a lush garden,
maybe even a vegetable patch, in a quiet neighborhood where
you can relax on the porch in the warm sun and catch up on
reading all those books that have been gathering dust on the
shelf while you were working. To some this would be even more
perfect if a bowling alley or the first tee were just a few
Or that dream vacation to warm weather or historical settings
of the past world. A cruise around the ocean in a large luxury
boat filled with food and games and blinding sun while skirting
mysterious islands or historical sights. But be careful of
fulfilling that dream of skydiving or mountain climbing because
earth is way down there. Be real, "Dream as if you'll
live forever, live as if you'll die today," said that
young and short-lived actor rebel, James Dean, who went for
it all and ended it all in a fast Porsche.
But be careful of dreams. They are intangible elements and
can fade away, or be lost by a bad decision. But they can't
be, or shouldn't be, abandoned. Dreams make the world go round.
They are the beauty of the human mind, a function only the
human animal can perform. "To dream anything that you
want to dream, that's the beauty of the human mind. To do
anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the
human will. To trust yourself to test your limits, that is
the courage to succeed," Bernard Edmonds.
Seniors' dreams are a way of life and a means to a successful
and happy retirement. They are the handles to grab to advance
into the future with a smile. Dreams don't stop at any age.
Seniors and Dreams go hand-in-hand.
taken from the Book 'Being a Senior Citizen'