Got Energy?

Remember the “I Love Lucy” episode when Lucy was the Vitameatavegamin girl?  It’s one of my favorites. The director kept asking her to do another take of the commercial (and another swig of vitameatavegamin) and she ended up drunker than a skunk. 

Lucy asked perkily: “Are you tired, run down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpopular?”

Well, she had the cure for those ailments!  Lucy promised that just one tablespoonful from that bottle of Vitameatavegamin would fix you right up.  (Not to mention, that bottle contained 23% alcohol. Lucy found that out the hard way).


Seems like Lucy was ahead of her time, touting this energy-providing super drink.  After all, “thousands of happy, peppy people” were loving the stuff!

Nowadays, television commercials still promise us a burst of energy – not by eating well, or getting enough sleep, or by adding exercise to our lives, but by slurping down our own little bottle of God knows what. According to Wikipedia, the main ingredient in these drinks is caffeine, and many contain high amounts of sugar (well, at least they aren’t 23% alcohol, like good old Vitameatavegamin).

Teenagers depend on Red Bull for their “get-up-and-go.” Recently, I noticed a middle-aged woman walk out of Speedway with one of those little bottles of 5 hour energy and slug it down before she drove off to get on with her busy life. 

Some days at work it seems like I’m yawning all day long.  I hear my coworkers complain that the changing weather makes them tired. 

So what’s the answer to this “lack of energy” dilemma?  Are endless cups of coffee, mountain dew, or an “energy shot” the answer, or are there healthier options to increasing our energy?
The Nursing Online Education Database provides 50 Ways to Boost Your Energy Without Caffeine.
Did you know that oatmeal helps give you energy?  MSN Health and Fitness talks about oatmeal as an energizer, along with 4 other foods that are fatigue fighters.
The Medicine Net site talks about fighting fatigue by taking care of yourself, and advises a trip to the doctor if fatigue lasts longer than a month. 
Further reading:
What about you?  Do you have a favorite energy enhancer? 

Super Foods for Men and Women

There are foods that can provide us with great health benefits.  Unfortunately, these foods don’t include: White Castle sliders, pizza with double cheese, deep-fried twinkies  and elephant ears (or any other carnival-type food, for that matter).  And by the way, deep fried cauliflower, zucchini, and mushrooms don’t count on a 5 to 9 daily fruit and vegetable plan. 
*sigh.*

But not to fret, fellow eaters. There are super foods out there, for both men and women – and these nutritional powerhouses can give us a wealth of health.

Super Food Guy getting ready to leap over a tall building.

?

There are super foods for women that provide such riches as:

  • Bone health
  • Digestive health
  • Protection against conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, breast cancer, and more

WebMD describes the 6 Super Foods for Women here.

And let’s not forget the men out there! Some of their nutritional needs differ from women’s. 
There are foods for men that provide health boosters such as:
  • Protection against prostrate and bladder cancer
  • Building muscle and reducing fat around the waistline (get rid of that gut, guys, by eating whole grains)
  • Protection of the immune system
And of course, the men’s food list also includes defenses against heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other diseases that affect both genders. 

You can find the 10 super foods for men here.
 
So if you long for the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, run faster than a speeding bullet, blah blah blah, you may just be a little weird.  But if you simply want to enhance your health, you may want to try eating some of those super foods
 
Further reading:

How to add fruits and vegetables to your diet easily

WebMD also has a Healthy Recipe Finder

 

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Things I’m Grateful For Every Single Day!

  • I’m so grateful, dear Lord, that Lindsay Lohan is not my daughter.
  • I’m so grateful that I am not a wealthy, entitled  “celebrity” like Paris Hilton. 
  • I’m so grateful I’m not a Hollywood star, where my life would exist in a fishbowl and I’d better not be caught scratching my butt and my cellulite (if I had any, that is) would be splashed all over the cover of Star magazine.

  • I’m so grateful that I’m not a  DC or New Jersey or Orange County or whatever neighborhood housewife.  Those women are scary. 

    • I’m very very grateful not to be that Cat Lady, Jocelyn Wildenstein, who has spent millions on plastic surgery and ended up looking hideous! I’ll take a real, lived-in face any day of the week.
    Yep, I’m very grateful for my ho-hum, middle class life in the metropolitan Detroit area. I have:

    (1) A nice car to drive, with a sunroof and satellite radio. I’m in heaven.
    (2) A job I enjoy.
    (3) A blog I have fun writing.
    (4) A daughter who is smart, pretty, ambitious, and much cooler than I was at her age.
    (5) A kind, loving hubby.
    (6) A house with a paid-off mortgage, and of course,
    (7) Desi, the dog who can spell.

    Just to mention a few perks.

    I’ve read that gratitude is good for us. The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, talked about how gratitude for what we already have will bring us more to be grateful for. Sherri at The Serene Journey blog, is just one of many writers who believe in the power of keeping a gratitude journal.
    Some psychological research has even found that gratitude can make people feel happier.

    All I know is that when I’ve concentrated on what I lack in my life, I certainly wasn’t jumping for joy. But when I look at my life and say, “Yea, I’m doing okay. Wouldn’t change it for the world,” I find life to be, well, simply amazing.

    For further reading:

    Quotations of the Day:

    There are only two ways to live your life, one as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. (Albert Einstein)

    He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. (Epictetus)

      Active Aging Week Sep. 20 – 26

      The International Council on Active Aging has declared September 20 – 26, 2010 as Active Aging Week.  The ICAA’s philosophy urges people to live proactively as they age, engaging themselves in aging, rather than fighting it. I’m “all in” for that plan! 
      When I think of “active aging,” I picture more than just physical fitness for those of us at a “certain age.”  I define active aging as taking charge of our physical health, working to sharpen our minds, avoiding age-related conditions, and maintaining our emotional health. 

      And finally, simply letting go and having fun. When I look back at my life, I remember all the times I was unhappy, self-conscious, status conscious, and envious of others, just to name a few time-wasters. Then, when I turned 50, I’d had enough of that and thought, “It’s time to get on with life, don’t ya think?”

      In honor of Active Aging week, I found a few websites/blogs that emphasize a pro-age point of view. 
      • Ruthan Brodsky blogs about the “secrets to health and aging,” focusing on aging productively and positively. In this post, she writes about positive thinking and its link to longevity.  Ruthan posts about a variety of age-related topics, including aging gracefully, conditions and diseases, fitness and nutrition, mind and body, just to name a few. 
      • Interested in health care and the latest medical news?  You may want to check out Dr. Mike Magee’s Health CommentaryDr. Magee recently wrote about the new food enemy “high fructose corn syrup,” in this post.  I like Dr. Magee’s Daily Choice category, in which he posts articles that address the daily choices we all make:  Hope vs Dispair, Success vs. Failure, Action vs. Inaction, just to name a few. 
      Mr. and Mrs. Boomer, aging happily

      I hope you enjoy these reading recommendations.  Do you have any suggestions of “good reads” for baby boomers who want to age positively and in good health?   
       

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      September – A Great Time to Walk

      When I was growing up in the good old days, the Sixties, that is, I walked everywhere I went.  I walked for a couple practical reasons:
      • We only had one car in the family, a Chevy, of course. My dad was a proud UAW General Motors employee.
      • My mom didn’t drive a car. Hard to imagine nowadays, isn’t it?
      •  

      However, I also simply loved to walk.  I was a pretty solitary kid, and if you happened to be driving down Harper Avenue in Harper Woods, Michigan in the mid-sixties, you would probably see me walking to my elementary school, the public library (a mile away from my house), or the corner store on the other side of the expressway.  (Well worth the walk, since candy bars were a nickel each, and if I had a quarter I could buy a can of coke and a bag of chips).  Maybe the Sixties weren’t perfect, but living was pretty cheap, at least for a kid!  

      There was nothing better, in my eyes, at least, than walking to the library on a crisp Autumn day, kicking the crackling leaves and avoiding the cracks in the sidewalk. I’d look up at the clouds and pick out the ones that looked like a dog, a lady’s face, or an elephant.  I loved the aroma of burning leaves (yep, back then we could burn ‘em) and I’d collect the most colorful ones from the ground as I walked or skipped along. 

      I’ve never gotten over my love for walking.  Just walking the dog on these pre-autumn days has been good not only for my physical health, but also for my mental health.  Simply because it brings to mind those days when I was a kid and life seemed so simple.
      And when it’s too hot and humid, or too icy and snowy (you gotta love Michigan weather) I walk in front of my television, using On-Demand Exercise TV or a walking DVD. 
      I boost my indoor walking by carrying light weights or incorporating kicks, knee lifts, and side steps into my walk, something I learned from the “Walking Queen,” Leslie Sansone.  I enjoy “power walking” because it makes me feel great and provides a few benefits:
      (1) Stress relief
      (2) Heart health
      (3) Better sleep

      Walking is simply a great way to start an exercise program, if you’re not ready for high-impact exercises. 

      The Walking Site provides tips on how to start a walking program.
      Here’s a sample walking program from the Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure site.
      Where to find fitness walking DVDs:
      For further reading:
      Phil Woods’ goal is to get America walking
      Top 10 Walking Tips from Johns Hopkins Hospital

      What exercise activities do you do for your cardiovascular health? 

      Fifty-ish: A Glorious Age

      I feel better today, at 53, than I did at the age of 30.  And by that I mean better in all ways: physically, mentally, and emotionally. I definitely don’t feel “my age,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. According to the 2010 Del Web Baby Boomer Survey, many other boomers feel the same way.  Find out more about this survey here.
      I suppose I should find that weird; after all, the ever mysterious and infamous “they” are always touting youth, with it smooth, unlined skin, firm body, and a mind like a steel trap.  But I don’t want to be young again, though I don’t mind having a youthful outlook. 

      Nowadays, my mind can be like a rusty trap at times, and a little gassy – brain farts, you know.  So I work to keep it active, in hopes of keeping those brain cells strong.

      When my body started getting a little mushy, I started doing strength training (friend to bone and muscle).

      I push myself to eat a healthier diet to help ward off  diseases that run in my family, such as diabetes and heart disease. I visit the doctor regularly and submit to all those age-related tests I’m supposed to get. 

      I’m not naive, of course.  I know that I’m not promised good health and brain functioning for the rest of my life.  I just want to be pro-active about this aging thing. 

      Let me ask you, fellow boomers, is aging a crime?  Maybe younger people think it is, but my answer to that is “No Way!”  Aging is liberating, fun, and at times, kick-ass.  And if we’re open to life and all its glories, aging can help us develop an amazing blend of wit and wisdom.  (Don’t know if I’ve gotten there yet, but I’m working on it).
      The proverbial “fountain of youth” doesn’t come in a jar, or at a plastic surgeon’s office.  My theory is that it’s inside you.  Or not.  Haven’t we all seen people who acted old at 35 or 40, and others who are 80+ and still think life is a wonderful ride? Think Betty White. She’s my senior citizen role model. 
      At thirty, I was trying to prove something (what it was, I don’t know); at fifty-three, I ain’t got nothin’ to prove.

      At thirty, I figured I had time to waste; at fifty-three, I know time can be short, and I need to enjoy every precious minute.

      At thirty, I knew it all. (hah); at fifty-three I realize how much more I need to learn. 

      What about you, fellow boomers? Would you want to be thirty again?  Or you happy just where you’re at? 

      Aging Well, or Not?

      Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, at the age of 40 (over 13 years ago, yikes!!) Bea came to a turning point in her life.  At that time, she had a sense of pessimism about the aging thing. She thought that life would now be a downhill slide into aches, pains, chronic illness, turkey neck, wrinkles, brain farts, and the like.

      But then she asked herself: “Do ya want to get old, or do ya want to stay youthful and young at heart?” And by young at heart, Bea didn’t mean dressing like a teenager or sporting tattoos on various body parts. There’s nothing more aging than a woman at 40 + trying to look like 17. 

      At 40, Bea simply decided she wanted to age well, and at the ripe old age of 53 bearing down on 54, (oh yea, Bea does not lie about her age), she still feels the same way.

      So in honor of Healthy Aging™ month, Bea wants to point out some ways that we boomers can ease our way into our golden years

      You can read more about Healthy Aging™ month here.

      How about you? What are your insights and ideas about how to age in the best way possible?

      For Your Health: The "EatRightGetActive" Website

      Need a motivator to get you started on the road to good health and to avoid cancer and other diseases?

      You may want to check out the American Cancer Society’s new website, EatRightGetActive.

      On this new site, the ACS points out that for people who don’t smoke, making a commitment to simple lifestyle changes can often lessen our risk for diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
      EatRightGetActive challenges you to make these simple changes, and keeps you motivated by helping you:

      • Set goals for healthy activities, healthy eating and a healthy weight.
      • Track your eating habits, fitness activities, and weight loss with an online journals.

      Finally, the site provides tips and resources to help you reach and maintain your goals.

      Once you sign up for this challenge (for free, of course), you set some goals for yourself.

      Your dashboard contains your activity, based on the goals you choose.

      For example, I have a nutrition tracker, based on eating 5 servings of fruit/veggies a day and 3 servings of whole grains. The food journal keeps me in touch with just what I’m putting into my stomach (and keeps me from eating that Snickers bar at around 3 p.m. during the week, in favor of other healthier snacks I now keep at my desk!) The journal also keys me in to emotional eating.

      I also an activity tracker, based on a 60 minute a day exercise goal. I recently read about the study that shows if a middle-aged woman (well, I’m actually over “middle-aged,” unless I’m able to live until I’m 106) wants to simply maintain her weight, she needs to get 60 minutes of exercise a day, 7 days a week!

      Apparently, middle-aged men don’t need any exercise.  Of course, they don’t seem to even worry about their weight.  When was the last time your hubby asked you a silly question like: “Do these pants make me look fat?”
      To be honest, I know the 60 minutes a day won’t be easy. I may have to convince my lazy butt to get out of bed a teensy bit earlier that 7:16 a.m. (I leave the house at 8 a.m.) so I can fit some fitness into my morning (oh sure, like that will happen). 
       
      Now where was I?  Oh yea, the EatRightGetActive dashboard.  It also charts your progress for the week you’re in and provides a BMI calculator, based on your weight and height.  
       
      There are also Goal and Report pages. Both of these pages help you chart your progress, based on the goals you’ve chosen. 
       
      Find exercise boring? The “Move” Page describes how to “fit fun into fitness.” It provides links to fitness tips, such as how to stay motivated and how to incorporate fitness into your family activities.

      The Nourish page talks about healthy diets, keeping a food journal, a shopping list for healthy ingredients for your meals, etc.

      The site also includes a Discussion page, but since EatRightGetActive has only been recently introduced, the discussions are minimal. Hopefully that will change as time goes on.

      Some people may be turned off by EatRightGetActive’s simplicity. If you’re the type of person who enjoys a lot of “bells and whistles” on a website, you may want to look somewhere else.  As for me, I like being able to maneuver my way around easily and track my goals and progress in a clear-cut fashion.  The less time I spend sitting at my PC, the more time I have to fit in those 60 minutes of exercise! 
       
      Speaking of that, it’s time for some fitness.  This “middle-aged” body ain’t getting any younger, you know.