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Investing in a healthy lifestyle......
Old 12-14-2014, 09:10 PM   #1
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Investing in a healthy lifestyle......

As a result of DH having had a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and high cholesterol, a couple of years ago after a period of gradually worsening diet, and decreased activity, we went on (back on for me) a mostly plant based diet. Within 3 months his LDL cholesterol and triglycerides went from being far too high to being on the low end of normal. This after a year trying to get his cholesterol down by using moderation in his "normal" diet. He had to admit that he was powerless in the company of cheese! We now eat no dairy, or meat but we do still eat eggs and seafood in addition to lots of vegies, beans and grains. We try to limit refined carbohydrates. A year later he was off the blood thinners and was given a clean bill of health on both the blood clot in his leg and on his cholesterol!
We both agreed that making this investment in our health jibes well with our retirement plans as we really want to be in good enough health to really enjoy an active retirement. We also both have regular fitness activities at least 5 to 6 days per week. This is walking, biking and weight lifting for me and running, biking and weight lifting for him. I see all of this as a wise financial move as it will reduce our health care expenses going forward. We buy almost exclusively organic food. This is probably one of our biggest extravagances. We do get whatever organic whole foods we can from Costco and otherwise shop almost entirely at our local farmer's market and food co-op. Eating mostly plant based, organic and locally grown also meshes well with my belief in voting with your feet for the world you want to live in. Living within our planet's means.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:31 PM   #2
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Congratulations. Making any sort of significant dietary shift is really hard to do. In your cases, the results seem well worth the effort.

Well done!
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:55 PM   #3
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I'm in about the same boat, diet and exercise wise. Although I still eat a very limited amount of dairy, as in low-fat cheese occasionally. And I also still eat a limited amount of meat, mostly chicken, fish, and very lean red meat. Loads of fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, and that sort of thing. I get plenty of exercise, usually 7 days per week. I usually walk about 3-5 miles every day, along with some lifting or exercise bands. If I choose not to walk the typical 3-5 miles, I'll go biking about 10 miles or more instead. And if the weather absolutely keeps me from my walking or biking outdoors, I'll hit the treadmill or bike at the gym instead. My daily goal is to burn at least as many or more calories than I ingest.

With over a year of this routine under my belt, all of my blood work is well within the acceptable range now! Blood pressure is typically 114/60. I've lost over 70#, and 6" off around the waist. It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:14 AM   #4
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Wow! Congrats Goonie. You are definitely right that it is about creating a lifestyle. I find that over time my tastes are changing too and most of the time I'm not tempted to stray as I feel better when I eat healthily. Since we have no food allergies and this is all about choice for us, I occasionally taste something that is off my current menu. I am just finding that usually a bite is enough to convince me that I don't need more than that. I will say I still adore the smell of roasted meats but I no longer enjoy the taste.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:24 AM   #5
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As a result of DH having had a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and high cholesterol, a couple of years ago after a period of gradually worsening diet, and decreased activity, we went on (back on for me) a mostly plant based diet. Within 3 months his LDL cholesterol and triglycerides went from being far too high to being on the low end of normal. This after a year trying to get his cholesterol down by using moderation in his "normal" diet. He had to admit that he was powerless in the company of cheese! We now eat no dairy, or meat but we do still eat eggs and seafood in addition to lots of vegies, beans and grains. We try to limit refined carbohydrates. A year later he was off the blood thinners and was given a clean bill of health on both the blood clot in his leg and on his cholesterol!
We both agreed that making this investment in our health jibes well with our retirement plans as we really want to be in good enough health to really enjoy an active retirement. We also both have regular fitness activities at least 5 to 6 days per week. This is walking, biking and weight lifting for me and running, biking and weight lifting for him. I see all of this as a wise financial move as it will reduce our health care expenses going forward. We buy almost exclusively organic food. This is probably one of our biggest extravagances. We do get whatever organic whole foods we can from Costco and otherwise shop almost entirely at our local farmer's market and food co-op. Eating mostly plant based, organic and locally grown also meshes well with my belief in voting with your feet for the world you want to live in. Living within our planet's means.
I've just started a similar path given my high cholesterol diagnosis. Hope I have similar results. Congrats to you both.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:41 AM   #6
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GreenER - we have a very similar diet. Prevention > Treatment. Or, IOW, We eat to live, rather than live to eat. Got rid of BP meds and lost some weight along the way !!

Rich
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:37 AM   #7
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Years, ago, two guys and myself started our jobs at mega corp around the same time, I was a couple years older then either of them. One of them couldn't give up cookies and cake.....he died of diabetis 3 years ago. the other couldn't give up smoking.....he died of brain and lung cancer about the same time. I gave up smoking many years ago but I loved my sugar....then, I watched my Dad lose a leg and die of diabetis as well. So, 6 years, ago when my Doc told me I was a pre diabetic I changed. Today, I excercise 275 minutes a week, eat salad 6 days a week for lunch, no sweets whatsoever, mostly complex carbs, lots of veggies, fruit, chicken and fish......averaged 6-8lb loss per year and am over 55 lbs lighter than when I started. But......I don't call this my diet.....I call it my lifestyle change and I feel great.....better than years ago and everyone of my tests show great results.....back to seeing my Doc yearly instead of every 3 months. Whenever I see smokers or "bad" eaters It really makes me feel bad for them. The "good news" is that I love the change.....I enjoy food, excercise and life more today than when I ate a ton of sweets and smoked. Anyone out there that needs to change, do it! You'll be happier for it.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:16 AM   #8
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Congrats to everyone. I do believe that having a healthy lifestyle is one of your best investments.
I do have a question as to how you got started in this. Are there any web sites or books that guide you to what you can eat and what you cannot eat? This time of year, especially, it is tough to eat healthy.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:28 AM   #9
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https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/2014/1...DBLM153N8QXRTg

Is a place to check your fitness age--even a slug like me has a fitness age seven years younger than my chronological age. Nothing re diet, just fitness, but interesting.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:33 AM   #10
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You're preachin' to the choir, Sister! I'm 61 and on zero prescriptions. DH is 76 and has polycythemia so some things can't be prevented or eliminated with a healthy lifestyle, but many can. I love to eat but have learned to snack mostly on fruits and vegetables, with nuts in limited quantities (healthy but calorie-dense). I'm also in the gym every day and did 3 charity bike rides of 35-40 miles last summer (turned back early on one that was constant cold rain so that was "only" 24 miles).


David1961, I can't recommend any particular book; in my case I've been active my entire life and kind of knew what food was healthy/what wasn't and went at it with more determination. I'm also happy to say that having cut way back on processed foods, it's easy for me to turn down a lot of the typical junk food people eat because I know it will leave a chemical aftertaste. It's just not worth the calories.


One good Bulletin Board is the one on myfitnesspal.com.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:38 AM   #11
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...

One good Bulletin Board is the one on myfitnesspal.com.
Funny, it was a myfitnesspal email I received this morning that had the fitness link I posted above. They also email awesome recipes. The site is new to me but I already use it a lot.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:43 AM   #12
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When people ask us what we can eat we always say "anything we want". It is our choice to eat healthy whole foods so I don't feel deprived. If I really want something I'll at least taste it. I do better if I don't set absolute limits but rather try to make good choices on a regular basis. I found that at least for us once we removed dairy and meat and refined carbs from the menu that most of our remaining options, even when eating out, were fairly healthy. Eating seafood and eggs still gives us more options when out and about. I am a damn good cook too if I do say so myself!
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:01 AM   #13
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There is one disadvantage to a healthy lifestyle, for a woman. There aren't reasonably priced clothes designed for women over 55 with good figures.

Regular retail styles meant for older women are dowdy, fussy, roomy, shapeless, and excessively flowery or pastel in color. Yet, one doesn't want to open oneself to charges of "she dresses like she thinks she's still young." One sees such women portrayed as jokes on the Internet.

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Old 12-15-2014, 11:25 AM   #14
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There is one disadvantage to a healthy lifestyle, for a woman. There aren't reasonably priced clothes designed for women over 55 with good figures.
Yeah, that's the truth! I'm really happy with the shape my body is in other than needing toning in my upper arms, but I know darn well that flimsy fabrics, anything too tight, short skirts and spaghetti straps would look out of place on a 61-year old. Yesterday I wore a pair of skinny leggings with a flowing top that went halfway down my thighs so I didn't feel naked but could still show off my legs. I find Chico's to be a good source of pretty clothing for my age group and although their sticker prices are high, I can usually find things I like on the sale racks.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:24 PM   #15
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I am on the taller side and of rather average proportions for my height so I don't find it too hard to find sporty clothes that look good on me. I have never been a frilly or a flashy dresser and I live on the west coast, so need I say more? Dress up has a different meaning here thank goodness! I do agree that some looks just don't cross the ages and some body parts need more sheltering as we age. This goes for men's bodies though just as well as women's. Take it from a nurse who has seen plenty of both!
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:20 PM   #16
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At the present time (who knows what the future will bring) I have a better figure than I did at 18, but the skin is not as taut and the face is mature [then again, neither are the Fox News females a bunch of spring chickens, and just look how they dress! ].

If it's OK for older women to wear leggings, then it should be fine to show our legs in a short-skirted dress and panty hose, assuming the legs themselves are shapely and the same amount of leg is being displayed in either case.

After all, one now sees "empowerment" web sites which urge young, overweight women to be confident and wear bikinis. So, who knows what constitutes "out of place," these days.

But I am verging on thread-jack, and will save this for another time.

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Yeah, that's the truth! I'm really happy with the shape my body is in other than needing toning in my upper arms, but I know darn well that flimsy fabrics, anything too tight, short skirts and spaghetti straps would look out of place on a 61-year old. Yesterday I wore a pair of skinny leggings with a flowing top that went halfway down my thighs so I didn't feel naked but could still show off my legs. I find Chico's to be a good source of pretty clothing for my age group and although their sticker prices are high, I can usually find things I like on the sale racks.
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:46 PM   #17
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There is one disadvantage to a healthy lifestyle, for a woman. There aren't reasonably priced clothes designed for women over 55 with good figures.
That also goes for men. Most shirts that fit my height and arm length have a big gob of material tucked in at my waist. I can find some 'slim' shirts but there are less colors styles, etc.

The funny thing is I am not skinny. I am just height-weight proportional in the normal range. My BMI is pretty much centered at normal.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:01 PM   #18
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I have found that most of the Ways of Eating (WOE) that seem to work well generally do away with highly processed foods. This eliminates many bad carbs (sugar, pulverized flours, etc.), food with a lot of added fat, and food that lacks nutrients.

In other words, we end up eating more real food and less manufactured digestible products.

Personally, I watch carbs more than calories. I find that foods that are naturally higher in fat (nuts, meats , avocados, etc.) fill me up so I just don't eat as much. The results, I don't consume as many calories as one might think. I remember being warned away from nuts and told to eat whole grain crackers instead. I could easily devour hundreds and hundreds of calories worth of these crackers and never be satiated. But, a hand full of nuts fills me up.

On tip I found helpful is to only eat food you make yourself. Making things like french fries and chocolate cake takes a lot of time compared to buying them. So... I eat them a lot less often. But, when I do I am eating a really good, tasty product.

I'm still waiting for all those healthy heart experts who told me to eat high trans-fat margarine instead of butter, and sugary yogurts instead of whole milk yogurt to apologize.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:19 PM   #19
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Wow! Congrats Goonie. You are definitely right that it is about creating a lifestyle. I find that over time my tastes are changing too and most of the time I'm not tempted to stray as I feel better when I eat healthily. Since we have no food allergies and this is all about choice for us, I occasionally taste something that is off my current menu. I am just finding that usually a bite is enough to convince me that I don't need more than that. I will say I still adore the smell of roasted meats but I no longer enjoy the taste.
I've always liked just about every kind if food, including the healthy stuff. I was the weird little kid that loved my veggies...even Brussel sprout and spinach! So changing my eating habits was relatively easy. I still have an piece or two of pizza, just not the whole dang pizza, and not very often either. Same thing goes for ice cream....one scoop is more than plenty, and that, only occasionally.

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Congrats to everyone. I do believe that having a healthy lifestyle is one of your best investments.
I do have a question as to how you got started in this. Are there any web sites or books that guide you to what you can eat and what you cannot eat? This time of year, especially, it is tough to eat healthy.
I got started in August of 2013, when I stepped on the scale at my Doc's office and saw 292! YIKES!!! I immediately made changes to quantity and quality of the food that I ate. About a day or two later, a friend of mine was singing the praises of an app called "Lose It!". I downloaded it and have used it everyday since. You set your goals for the weight you want to achieve, and when you want to achieve it by. Then just enter you current weight and such. It then sets a daily calorie count to shoot for. You then enter whatever you eat and whatever exercise you get, and it continuously calculates things out. It contain a large data bank of food, grocery brands, restaurant brands, and a myriad of different exercises. And you can scan UPCs and customize foods and exercises.

Also, I bought the book "Younger Next Year" by Dr. Henry Lodge and Chris Crowley. They offer very readable and applicable advice on lifestyle, eating habits, and the rest. Excellent book in my opinion! (It's also available for Kindle)
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:59 PM   #20
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I think the plant based diet is growing in popularity. I've been a vegetarian/pescetarian for almost 40 years. Two years ago I switch to a (mostly) plant based diet. I do eat wild caught salmon on average once every one or two weeks. But, no other meat or dairy.

I feel good, and my weight is good. I've gone backpacking with women my age and my physical capabilities are as good or better than most. I would think if I was lacking in protein I wouldn't be able to keep up (we've done some challenging trips).

I get a lot of exercise, mostly from walking, hiking, backpacking and snowshoeing. In addition to getting the heart pumping, I think breathing the fresh air is beneficial.

Buying clothes is a problem for me too. I am in a women's zero pant size. My favorite brand of hiking pants was Columbia Sportswear but they only go to a size 2. I called them and they said it wasn't profitable for them to mfg size 0. Levis no longer makes a size 26 (waist); I use to be able to buy those in department stores.

Thanks for starting this thread!
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