Eating Healthy on a Budget – Tips for Seniors

Putting the right foods in your shopping cart is the first step in taking control of your diet – but don’t think of it as ‘a diet’. Think of it as warding off heart disease, boosting your immune system and improving your life.

Whether your doctor has suggested watching fats and carbs, or you’ve decided that it’s time to shop healthy, get a pencil – you’ll need it for tip number one!

These are ten sensible and healthy shopping tips for seniors:

Make a list

Have a weekly meal plan in mind as you prepare your grocery list. Itemize breakfasts first, then lunches, dinners and snacks. Sticking to your list will help you avoid impulse buying.

Visualize the food groups

Keep the USDA food guide ‘MyPlate’ in mind as you make your list. It’s easy to visualize – fruits and vegetables make up half the plate, grains and proteins are the other half, and dairy is in the cup next to it.

Remember your coupons

Put coupons in your wallet the minute you get them and take advantage of double coupon days, a good time to stock up.

Avoid the crowd

If you are retired and no longer stuck shopping on weekends when everyone else is at the store, take advantage of it. Make note of stock day and shop early the next morning. You’ll get the freshest produce and will also avoid disappointment in finding your favorite coffee has been sold out!

Shop the perimeter first

Have you noticed that produce, dairy, meats and breads are around the outside of the grocery store? By making a wide circle you’ll find most of what you’ll need for your weekly meal plan.

Don’t forget the freezer

Frozen fruits and veggies are a must, particularly when fresh produce is higher priced in winter. Having bags of frozen berries and mixed vegetables is convenient when cooking for just one or two.

Next the aisles

These are a few healthy favorites for the pantry:

  • Tuna packed in water – for healthy salads, sandwiches and casseroles
  • Beans – an alternative to meats for the protein. Use them in soups, chili, casseroles or as a side dish
  • Canned tomatoes and sauces – for spaghetti dishes, chili and soups
  • Pastas and rice  – they go with almost anything or may be added to soups or casseroles. Try whole grain rice and vegetable pastas for healthy alternatives to plain white
  • Peanut butter – a must for sandwiches and as a snack with apples or celery. Have you tried peanut butter on waffles? Delicious!
  • Honey – for your tea rather than sugar, and the perfect companion to peanut butter or on whole grain toast.
  • Oatmeal  – instant packets make a quick filling breakfast or a late evening snack, topped with vanilla yogurt, nuts or fruit.
  • Popcorn – for watching TV or sitting on the deck with a cup of tea
  • Olive oil, canola oil and flavored vinegars
  • Coffees, teas a hot chocolate

Things to avoid

Avoid pre-packaged foods that include more than 5 ingredients like all-in-one casserole mixes and instant meals – they’re generally high in sodium and in price!

The junk food aisle can be tempting but for late evening cravings, chips and dip won’t help your waistline. Instead try a dish of fruit with vanilla yogurt, or air popped popcorn topped with Parmesan cheese and garlic, delicious!

Don’t shop hungry

Everything will look tempting when you’ve got the growlies, and if it’s not on your list – you probably don’t need it.

Try something new!

Don’t rush through shopping. Be a little adventurous – next time you’re in the produce section, pick up a fruit or vegetable that you’ve never tried.

The bottom line is be prepared and relaxed. Your goal is to make the best possible choices for a happier, healthier you!

 

Is Your Kitchen Sink Making You Sick?

I was a philosophy major at the University of Oregon. She was studying home economics at Oregon State. We were an unlikely couple.

Me, a bearded philosopher and champion of organic living. She, a nutrition major with a cherub-like freckled face and an eerie resemblance to Betty Crocker.

We didn’t argue often, but when we did the disagreement was invariably about food and cooking. To her, there was no appreciable dietary difference between honey and sugar. To me, refined sugar was lethal.

And despite her fresh knowledge of organic chemistry (gathered over long nights of head-expanding study and a relentless series of lectures by her anti-organic foods professor), I continued to shun processed foods, white flour, and white sugar like they were death in a box.

We were quite the pair, Patte and I.

 

A lesson in microbiology

“Where,” she asked, “do you say is the most germ-ridden surface in this apartment?” We were at her place in Corvallis, sharing a Thanksgiving meal.

Smelling a trap, I gave it a little thought, then responded with some off-the-wall comment like, “The top of the refrigerator, I suppose.”

“Close,” she smiled, “you guessed the right room.” I leaned closer, wondering where she might be headed. “I took scrapings from every major surface here, then investigated them in the lab at school—and the two places with by far the most germs were … are you ready? … the kitchen sink and the kitchen counter!

I almost fell out of my chair. How could that be?

We were both fastidious about cleaning. Dishes never piled up, they were washed as soon as the table was cleared. I began trying to challenge her data—I mean, what does the Oregon State microbiology lab know about germs anyway? My weak arguments, though, eventually turned to amazement—then to a search for what could be done about the situation. After all, if you can’t trust your kitchen counter, what can you trust?

You can find more germs here than in your average toilet

e ColiI was reminded of that long-ago event recently, when research on a current project led me to a study published in the July 7, 2008 edition of Pediatrics Week, a peer-reviewed medical journal. Here are some of the points discussed there:

  • Almost half of all kitchen sinks tested proved to be dangerously contaminated with bacteria—including potentially deadly E. coli.
  • Kitchen sinks harbor more germs than the bathroom sink, door handles, or chew toys.
  • 75% of (USA) sponges and cleaning cloths used in the kitchen were heavily infected with bacteria. Internationally, that figure reached almost 90%.
  • 80% of Salmonella infections occur at home—not at a restaurant.

Once again, I felt the same indignation I had experienced in Corvallis. The area where food preparation takes place should be the cleanest spot in our homes, not a breeding ground for bacteria. That is especially true when you consider that a colony of germs can double in population every 10 minutes—meaning a few unwanted guests can become millions of intruders before the day is out.

Steps towards kitchen hygiene

What can we do to protect our families and ourselves? I know that most bacteria are not harmful—like you and me, they’re just doing what they need to do to stay alive. Some germs are even beneficial. There are others, though, that can make you sick—or worse—and those creatures have to go. Just like practicing good personal hygiene is helpful in fighting off disease, good kitchen hygiene can prevent the spread of bacterial infections.

The basics are:

  • Whether you use a sponge or a cloth for cleaning, it is important to change it often and to let it get good and dry between uses. Germs need moisture to survive.
  • Use a disinfectant when you clean kitchen surfaces—not just soap and water. Bacteria are living creatures that require special measures. Look for a natural disinfectant, though; the old standby—bleach—can be as dangerous as the germs you are trying to kill.
  • Clean often and clean well. And don’t forget to get down into the drain area. Remember to wipe all kitchen cabinet and appliance handles with your disinfectant solution.
  • Beware of wooden cutting boards and utensils. The crevices can be dens of protection for germs. Scrub them, soak them, and replace them when cracks and soft spots appear.
  • Remember: Germs multiply rapidly. That is why it is important to clean up spills quickly and wipe down surfaces often. A few hours or days of inattention give germs the opportunity to dig in and make your home their home.

Do you wonder why your family is sick so often? Do you often blame upset stomachs on restaurant food? It may be you are infecting your family with germs every time you serve them food. That isn’t a welcome thought, but it could be true.

I didn’t want to hear it either—not when Patte first told me, and not now. But facts are facts. Since they won’t change, we must.

Aloe Vera for Treating Acne

Aloe vera is a popular and widely used herb. It’s mostly used for the treatment of scrapes and burns, but it can also be used to combat acne breakouts. Its functionality can be attributed to its compounds, which contain anti-inflammation and anti-oxidant properties. It also contains enzymes, amino acids, minerals and a few good hormones which promote the healing process.

These and other vital properties are instrumental in preventing and treating acne. Aloe works wonders for the face and other skin surfaces.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

According to an article published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, the enzymes and proteins in Aloe vera contain powerful anti-oxidant properties. The enzymes include the enzyme bradykinase, while the hormones are hormone gibberellins and auxins. These ingredients are touted for reducing the pain caused by acne vulgaris and moderating the redness as well as the size of the eruptions associated with acne.

Antioxidants

Aloe vera is packed with effective antioxidants such as folic acid, choline as well as vitamins A, C, E and B-12. Anti-oxidants neutralize free radicals which can damage skin cells and lead to cancer. Again, anti-oxidants protect the skin against the harmful UV rays. Both free radicals and ultra violet radiation can damage skin cells, making the skin more susceptible to the bacteria that cause acne and other afflictions.

In addition to that, Aloe vera can strengthen the body’s immune system, defending the body against bacteria and other disease causing organisms. This also allows the body to function in its optimum level , repairing skin wounds and thus elevating the healing process.

Zinc and Salicylic Acid

Aloe vera contains zinc and salicylic acid which are very instrumental in eradicating acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, salicylic acid aids in unclogging skin pores and in the process it gets rid of the bacteria that cause the infection. It’s also effective in eliminating the dead skin layer, paving way for the underlying healthy and bright skin cells.

The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that zinc can effective in minimizing acne symptoms. It also helps salicylic acid in unclogging pores and killing the bacteria.

Antibacterial and Antiseptic Properties

Emodin, aloin, lupeol and sapolin found in aloe vera have antibacterial as well as antiseptic properties. As antibacterials, they kill the bacteria while the antiseptics curb the bacteria from spreading to other areas. This helps in preventing the spread of the ache and eventually eradicating it completely. These ingredients are also touted for reducing the redness and swelling caused by acne.

Aloe vera has many other skin care benefits. In a nutshell, we can say that it initiates and promotes the skin’s healing process and promotes the production of new, healthy skin cells and tissues. It also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, thereby increasing the elasticity and firmness of the skin. This is the main reason why aloe vera alleviates acne without leaving post acne scars. Moreover, Aloe vera moisturizes the skin, helping you to regain your supple, flawless and youthful appearance.

Image: Stock from Fotolia
 

Aging Gracefully: Why You Need To Sleep Better

Changes are experienced in our sleeping patterns as we age. You can experience falling asleep earlier, waking up earlier or even not experience restful sleep. Some changes are actually normal in aging, but certain changes such as waking up tired each day, having insomnia and other experiences are definitely not a normal part of aging. Remember that getting sufficient sleep is very essential to your emotional and physical health as you get older, just as it was important when you were younger. So when you do begin to have sleeping problems, it is best to seek medical help or make certain changes to your sleeping environment and habits.

Why Do Older Adults Need To Sleep Well?

Sleep is very important no matter what your age may be. It plays an important role in your emotional well-being and physical health. When you get the sleep you need each night, your ability to concentrate better and your memory is improved, along with the body’s ability to repair any cell damages, refresh the immune system and prevent any disease.

If you are unable to sleep well, you may end up suffering from memory problems, depression, attention and sleepiness throughout the day. Chances are you might have an increased sensitivity to pain and even consume plenty of over-the-counter sleeping aids and other prescriptions. Those who have serious health problems such as diabetes, weight issues and even breast cancer, have reported having sleeping troubles before getting sick.

The Common Causes Of Sleeping Problems When Aging

Here are a few common causes of sleeping problems in adults when aging:

Medications – As you age, you will find yourself taking more medications compared to when you were younger. As a result, the combination of the mediations and some side-effects can impair your sleeping patterns or keep you awake at night.

Illness – If you are experiencing certain illnesses such as arthritis, asthma, menopause, urinary tract infections, diabetes and even heartburn, the pain will keep you up most of the time.

Emotional and Mental Issues – Life changes such as the death of a loved one or separation can affect your emotional health and cause stress. Sadness, anxiety and stress can keep you up at night and even make you depressed all the more.

Sleeping Environment – If you have a habit of drinking alcohol before going to bed and staying up really late at night you will find yourself with sleeping problems. This also includes trying to fall asleep while watching television or leaving the lights on. Sometimes, sleeping on a mattress that is not suitable for your body can leave you restless and trigger health conditions.

Improving Sleep While Aging

The only to get better sleep as you age is to improve your lifestyle and make certain changes. Here are some tips:

Exercise Regularly – When you stay fit by exercising regularly, your body releases endorphins that can help boost your mood and reduce any emotional and mental problems.

Socialize – Participate in healthy social activities which can keep your activity level up and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep.

Eat And Drink Healthy – Keep away from junk food and those that are considered stimulants as they can interfere with sleep. Maintain a healthy diet and always drink plenty of water during the day.

Improve Your Sleeping Environment – Make sure that your bedroom is quiet, dark and comfortable. Avoid watching television before going to bed and take a warm bath a few minutes before bed. Invest in a mattress that can support all pressure points of body and can provide the needed comfort for your age.

Ubiquinol Supplements For Cardiovascular Health

Ubiquinol Supplements

MANY OF US STRUGGLE with issues like obesity and high cholesterol. High cholesterol can directly affect your cardiovascular health, potentially leading to chronic health problems and heart attacks.

While a certain amount of cholesterol is a good thing, individuals with heart disease in the family tend to have excess amounts of the “bad” LDL cholesterol. While some people have a predisposition to heart problems, there are certain steps one can take to keep their LDL cholesterol levels in check, including diet, exercise, and medication.

While cholesterol lowering medications work well to lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood, they contain statins that can deplete the body’s natural source of C0Q10, a naturally occurring substance that aids in protecting the body against disease. When the levels of C0Q10 are depleted, people are at risk for a variety of health issues.

Ubiquinol supplements work to naturally replenish the body with essential C0Q10 and antioxidants, allowing for increased levels of C0Q10 in the blood plasma, which directly affects the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Individuals taking cholesterol lowering medications often report symptoms of exhaustion and muscle weakness, and this is directly connected with the depletion of C0Q10.

Benefits of Ubiquinol Supplements

While Ubiquinol works as a powerful cardiovascular supplement, this amazing antioxidant also provides additional benefits. Its high antioxidant concentration works to destroy free radicals in the body and replenish cells, resulting in healthy skin and joints, increased energy and stamina, and an overall sense of well being. Antioxidants are directly connected with the aging process as well.

The body starts to produce less C0Q10 starting around age 30, the age when many people start to notice the beginning signs of aging. C0Q10 is a common ingredient in face creams due to its natural ability to replenish skin cells, and when taken as a supplement, Ubiquinol C0Q10 works from the inside out. Anti aging benefits of Ubiquinol include healthy, glowing skin, diminished wrinkles, and increased elasticity.

Are Ubiquinol Supplements Right For Me?

If you are over the age of 30 and are starting to notice the first signs of aging, or if you have recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol or obesity, Ubiquinol is a supplement that can greatly benefit your health and well being.

By combining this supplement with a heart healthy diet that consists of high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids and soluble fiber, you can dramatically improve your current condition. The antioxidant power in this supplement will help to boost your immune system and will also work to slow down the natural aging process by restoring healthy cells.

If you are currently taking any type of medication for a chronic illness, or if you have a heart condition that is being monitored by your physician, it is always a good idea to consult with them before starting Ubiquinol or any supplement regime.

The results of Ubiquinol supplementation will vary from person to person, but many individuals report a positive change in their health within 5 days of starting the supplement. Increasing antioxidant protection and replenishing your C0Q10 levels will definitely have a positive impact on your overall health.

 

Secrets of Old Age: How to Live to be 100

 

AGING IS INEVITABLE and everyone must deal with that reality. There are, however, some steps you can take to help make sure you  live as long and well as possible. When combined with favorable genetics, these techniques can allow you to live to 100 and beyond.

Diet is one of the most important components. By eating the right amount of calories and plenty of healthy foods, you help your heart keep pumping. The earlier you start, the better your chances of avoiding heart attacks and other disease, but any age is a good age to begin taking care of yourself.

Exercise is also crucial, but it does not need to be intense. Any activity that increases your heart rate is sufficient. Three exercise sessions of 15 minutes or more per week is enough to have a dramatic impact. Again, the sooner you begin, the better.