Tag Archives: Diet

Shakin’ it up …

Shakin it up


I don’t know about the rest of you octogenarians but I find that I have less and less of an appetite the older I get.  Living alone just exacerbates the situation.  I knew that I needed to keep up my strength if I wanted to stay well but food, or at least the right things to eat, seemed to elude me.  It took a loving daughter to get me on the right track.

She introduced me to Protein Shakes and now it is my breakfast of choice every morning.  It is an easy way for me to get the essential vitamins and nutrients that I had been missing.  (Before I continue I want to caution that shakes may not be for you.  If you are still eating a balanced and whole food diet that will suffice. Obviously I was not.)

My daughter was careful to choose just the right combination of ingredients for me. She knew that I was on a restricted diet that did not include soy, milk, whites (such as white potatoes, white rice etc.) and cut way back on sugars.  The 4 items that you see in the picture are the ones she chose and they work well for me.

Here is my recipe.  I take the juice of one orange, ½ large banana and one tablespoon each of the Vegan Rice Protein, the Aloe Vera juice, the Flax Oil and the Source of Life Liquid and combine them all in my blender.  I then add about ½ cup of unsweetened Silk Almond milk and 4 ice cubes.   When it’s all mixed together this is what I get:

Shakin it up2

I have to admit that it took me a few tries to get used to the flavor but now it is part of my morning routine and I look forward to it.

I owe my daughter a lot for doing all the research and thought I would show my thanks by featuring the Protein shake in this cute glass that promotes the business that she and her husband have in Stanfordville, New York. If you are ever in the vicinity searching for antiques or used items drop in to Bowen Barn and tell them “Ginnie sent me.”

Fiber: What is it Good For?

Some of the tools that we use to live an UNlimited life are not as obvious as others. When people think of the items that might be helpful to someone with a disability, they often think of assistive technology like wheelchairs, prosthesis and lifts. They might even think about intangible things, like support from family and friends, a sense of humor, or perseverance; but chances are that unless you ask a doctor, things like your diet do not get included in the conversation.

We have all been told that a good diet is important to living a long and healthy life. We all know that fruits and vegetables are “good,” while sugars and simple carbohydrates are “bad.” But few of us can really say why, and even fewer of us can say what exactly those good foods are doing for us.

Recently I learned that fiber, a carbohydrate that is found in whole grains, beans and many fruits and vegetables, not only plays an important role in my UNlimited life, but my husband’s as well. Of course I always knew that fiber was good for me, but other than cancer prevention, I didn’t understand why.

Earlier this year I went to my CP specialist complaining of a new and embarrassing symptom, incontinence. I had just turned 30 and felt too young to be dealing with this sort of a problem. To my surprise, she recommended fiber. As it turns out, constipation (another wonderful problem often associated with CP) can cause urgency and accidents because as waste builds up in your bowels in can cause pressure on the bladder. Because I have a history of constipation, as far back as early childhood, my doctor wanted me to try adding fiber to my diet before prescribing a drug for the incontinence. Sure enough, it helped; not only am I less constipated, I find those frantic sprints to the bathroom have decreased.

I also learned that fiber is not only good for me, but also for my husband who has diabetes. Soluble fiber has been found to produce a significant reductions in blood sugar, and can decrease insulin requirements. Increasing your fiber can also prevent long-term complications from diabetes. Though my husband already enjoys many high fiber foods such as brussel sprouts, strawberries and peas, we are both eager to see what adding a high soluble fiber supplement will do to help control his blood sugar. Of course, we plan to talk to his doctor first.

Adding a fiber supplement to my diet turned out to be a great benefit for me, but I never would have discovered if it weren’t for the open and honest conversation I had with my doctor. Sometimes talking about certain symptoms, even with your doctor, can be embarrassing. But it’s important to remember that you’re probably not the first person to experience these issues, your doctor has probably heard it all and they are there to help find a solution that works best for you.

Read the labels !!!

I have lived on my own for many years now and one of the things that I was very lax about was cooking for myself.  I am ashamed to admit that a typical day would start with 2 or 3 cups of black coffee and a piece of toast.  Lunch was my “big” meal of the day and often consisted of something pre-packaged and frozen that I would “nuke”. Supper might be a peanut butter sandwich.   Of course I would feel guilty about my lack of fruits and veggies so I’d often cut up a large banana and top it with two scoops of coffee ice cream, Cool Whip and chocolate sauce!

Sound familiar?   Well, it seemed to work for me and I didn’t have to worry about all the mess that cooking entailed.  But the day came when I had to pay the piper and it’s been a huge eye opener.  I have a condition called SIBO (Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth) and I am restricted now from eating sweets or any and all refined grains.

I doubt if many of you will have to adhere to such a strict diet but we seniors all need to be aware of what we are putting into our bodies. Foods that come directly from the field will not have all the additives that are in those packaged varieties.  Becoming a label reader has really opened my eyes.  Look what I found when I decided to try Roasted Garlic Triscuits in place of the ORIGINAL 100% grain Triscuits that were allowed on my diet.

This is the complete list of ingredients for the Original Triscuits:

Now, compare that with the ingredients on the side of the same looking box of Triscuits but with the addition of roasted garlic:

Isn’t that amazing? Actually it was my sharp-eyed daughter who pointed that out to me and it makes me realize how very important it is to READ THE LABELS ! All those “mono-hyrdo-glycer-late-iums” must be in there for a reason and I doubt very much if it’s to promote good health !!

So, to sum up … each and every one of us has to determine what works for our particular situation but getting educated on this subject could be a life saver … and reading labels is a good place to begin.

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