2 In Life Happens/ Life Happens

Achieving An Apartment Balcony Garden That Is Low Maintenance

Achieving a low maintenance apartment balcony garden

 

Hello ladies.  Is there an apartment balcony garden in your future?  Are you wondering if it’s even possible to downsize from your gorgeous back yard garden and still be happy?  Never mind that the space that’s going to replace your ample backyard may only measure 6’x10’ right?  If you’ve always enjoyed mucking about in the dirt, this balcony stuff might seem pretty lame by comparison.  But I’m here to reassure you that not only is it possible, but it can look beautiful and it can be fun too.

Mind you, like everything new in life, there’s always a learning curve isn’t there?  Luckily for you, if you had a garden previously, you’re already half way there.  You understand plants and their varied requirements and their many attributes.  I think really the hardest thing is the issues of pot sizes and watering.  You want your plants to stay alive but you don’t want to flood out the balcony below yours.  After all, we want to enjoy our apartment balcony garden, but we also want to get along with the neighbours right?  In light of those considerations, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what might be the best route to go and I’ll share with you what I’ve settled on in a bit.

 

Apartment Balcony Garden Microclimates Are All Different….

But first,  just so you are aware of the kind of micro-climate situation that I’m working with, I’ll give you those details.  That way, when you come to studying your own situation, you’ll be able to sort of compare what you have to what I’m finding works in mine.

I’m on the south east corner of our building.  This means my apartment balcony garden gets the sun from the time it comes up in the morning until about 2:00.  We have a glass balustrade around it which means that if it does rain, none of that really benefits my pots.   Oh, and there’s an overhang that extends as far as the glass rail.  So any watering that happens is completely up to me and comes from the kitchen faucet via a watering can.

 

Too Many Choices Makes Deciding Hard to Do….Read here to discover how to achieve a low maintenance apartment balcony garden.

While some folks love a haphazard and uber-organic look to their gardens (translate to,  ‘a wild assortment of pots and baskets and aging cottage-y types of planters’), I  prefer something a little more formal and structured.  Also, I decided that since I won’t be spending a lot of money on this garden of mine in the years ahead, I’d choose pots today that looked good together and that I really like.

What’s more, because an apartment balcony garden can’t give you the grander, spaciousness of a full sized garden, it makes sense to choose containers that you love.  You’re going to get up close and personal every day with those pots.  So what’s the benefit if they’re cheap but you hate them?  The only hangup was that there are too many possible choices.  And being the ditherer that I am, I was undecided for a lot longer than you’ll probably be.  But anyway, I finally settled on three 36″ tall pots and two 24″  ones that are identical, to form the  ‘bones’ of my design.  I also bought three other identical 18″ pots that are different but that go well with the taller ones.

 

Pots With Holes or Not,  For My Apartment Balcony Garden?

Now if you are not used to gardening, it would be best if you chose pots that are fairly large and that also have drainage holes.  That way as you’re getting used to your new apartment balcony garden hobby, you won’t drown those beautiful plants that you’ve chosen.    And the larger your pots are, the less likely they are to dry out so fast that your plants accidentally get fried by the summer sun.  In my case, for a variety of reasons, I chose tall pots with no drainage holes.  But I did do a couple things to minimize the chances of killing my plants with too much water and I’ll explain what what that was.

 

What to Do If Your Balcony Garden Pots Have No Holes…

My pots are about 36 “ high and in the bottom, I put a 4-5” layer of rocks.  On top of that,  4” of bark mulch and the rest of the pot got filled with the dirt to set my plants in.     The rocks will provide space for excessive water to drain to.  And the bark mulch will do two things.  It will soak up some of the water and be a bit of a moisture reserve and will keep the dirt from washing down into the rocks which would blow the point of having them there as drainage.

If your pots aren’t quite that tall, just cut back on the depths of your rock and mulch layer.

 

Achieving Colorful Planters Without Using Flowers…

Achieving a Low Maintenance Apartment Balcony Garden

Choosing Plants for My Apartment Balcony Garden….

When it came to choosing the plants for my pots, I approached it a little differently too.   Instead of the typical geraniums/lobelio/petunia flowering annuals, I decided to go a different route.  My plants had to have the following attributes:

  • colourful foliage (think blue’s, yellows, acid greens, dark greens, burgundies)
  • assorted textures (grasses, deciduous leaves, every green leaves, needles, etc.)
  • be slow growing
  • various habits of growth (hanging, upright, tight ball shapes, open branching, etc.)
  • have similar requirements for watering and sun exposure. In my case I focused on plants that could take either full sun or light shade.  You might need to only chose shade plants or maybe only full sun plants.

Why I Didn’t Want Masses of Gorgeous, Colourful Flowers…..

I decided to go with colourful foliage instead of masses of annual flowers because I hate dead heading.  There are more interesting things to do than stand there and strip off the old, withered flowers.  And face it, if you want that massive basket of petunia’s to look wonderful all season, you’re going to have to fertilize a lot AND you’re going to have to dead-head them.  All summer and into the fall.  And especially if it’s a major feature of your apartment balcony garden.  But if you go the colourful foliage route you can cross that off your list of things to do through the summer.   Instead, you get to water as needed and just enjoy it the rest of the time.

 

How to Arrange the Plants That I Did Choose….

As you can see by the photos, I’ve chosen an assortment of shrubs, perennials and a little skinny Japanese maple.   It has the most wonderful little acid-green leaves that seem to float along the lines of the branches.  When it comes to placing the plants that you’ve chosen, think of it as an artist would.  It’s all about contrasting your shapes, colours, lines, types of leaves whether big or small, dark or light.  This is really the fun part so have fun and experiment.  So pick something that is ‘ball’ shaped and combine it with something else that is straighter.  To that add something that will be angular and perhaps hangs downward over the edge….

TIPS FOR PLANTING UP MY NEW, TALL, BEAUTIFUL POTS 

  1. Give each pot that you’re going to plant, a soaking in a bucket of water.
  2. Place 4″ of gravel in the bottom of your pot.
  3. Add a 3-4″ layer of bark mulk or a layer of that cocoa matting stuff that nurseries line wire baskets with.
  4. Fill to 10″ from the top of the pot.  Ultimately, you’ll want the dirt to come up to about 2″ from the top of the pot.  This will give you An Apartment Balcony Garden Can Be Low Maintenanceenough room yet to put a layer of the bark mulch on top.  I strongly suggest that you do this too and for two reasons.  It keeps the dirt from becoming compacted when you water and it prevents evaporation so you will water less.
  5. Plant your tallest plant first and at the back edge of your pot.  After you get that one tucked in, plant the next and just work your way forward.  I also made one minor change to the things I’ve already mentioned.  I found one of those small flowered plants that looks like a very small petunia.  That was my one nod to summer annuals and it’s starting to be a wonderful counterpoint with it’s purple blossoms beside the sharp yellow-green of a little creeping Jenny.
  6. Once your plants are settled in their places, take handfuls of dirt and gently drop it wherever the dirt is low.  When you’re done, you want all the roots covered and a nice level surface.
  7. The final touch will be to place handsful of bark mulch so that you have a layer that’s about 1-2″ deep.  Remember, you’re preventing both soil compaction and evaporation of the water that your plants need.
  8. Some folks like to fertilize their plants once every couple weeks.  But you know, after years of gardening, I’ve changed to fertilizing every time I water.  That way I don’t have to try and remember when the last time was.  No notes on calenders, no special tags or labels.  But the secret is that I cut waaaay back on how much fertilizer I add to the water.  So for a five gallon watering can, I add about 1/3 of a tsp of Miracle Grow plant food. That instead of the 5 tablespoons. Keep in mind that because my apartment balcony garden isn’t getting any rainfall, I’m watering a bit every day to every couple days.  So a small amount of fertilizer each time and your plants get the nutrients that they need.  Well that’s my way, but adjust your schedule to suit you.  No rules you know.  Oh wait a minute, there is one rule to this.  About the end of July, I quit fertilizing and just give them water.  The reason is that about that time of the summer, plants are normally finished with their peak growing season.  Their next job will be to draw nourishment into the roots to prepare for the coming winter.  A healthy root system survives bad weather better.

 

 

Achieving a Low Maintenance Apartment Balcony Garden

Indulging your need to play in the dirt with an assortment of beautiful foliage plants in large, attractive pots.

 

The Universal Hobby and the Addicts Who Love It….

Are you  indulging your need to play in the dirt with a back yard or an apartment balcony garden?   Well you’re part of a vast club of gardening addicts.  And most of us find that after a long, cold winter, the urge to plant things is very hard to ignore.  So we jump in, buy the pots, haul the dirt and cherish the gems that we find at the nursery.  And most of all, share the joy that our gardens bring us no matter how big they are.Achieving a Low Maintenance Apartment Balcony Garden

 

And What Kind of Gardening Tips Do You Have to Share?

If you enjoyed reading about my developing garden and have some stories or comments that you’d like to share, don’t hesitate.  I like learning from all of you and frankly, just enjoy chatting about gardening stuff.  So don’t be shy about sharing how your garden is growing this year!  We’re waiting with baited breathe!

 

Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer:

As always, I will remind you that  I’m not a medical doctor.   I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health however.  And that’s what I’m sharing here.   All of it based on my own experiences and also the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

If you change anything about your activities or lifestyle, please check with your doctor.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

4 In Life Happens/ Relationships

Mother’s Day and 5 Gifts of Time

Mother's Day and the Gift of Time, a clock on cut flowers

To tell the truth, I’m not sure how to address the Mother’s Day issue, here.  Over the years, I’ve had really mixed feelings on this official holiday.  Mixed feelings that have nothing to do with it’s commercialization that’s resulted in an  industry worth over $23 billion in Canada and the USA.

When our girls were little, as each Mother’s Day rolled around, I’d find myself mentally preparing.  Preparing for what you might ask?   Why, for the coming ’recognition’ in our weekly church service.  A lot of you here will recognize the routine but for the sake of those who aren’t church goers, I’ll explain what I mean.   All the mom’s in the congregation would be  asked to stand where they were and the children would get called down to the front to take a carnation or two from a basket there.  They would scurry back to where their moms and other older ladies stood waiting and solemnly present them with a flower as a token of ‘theirs and the church’s’ appreciation of the mothers good work.

If anything, I enjoyed the kid’s enjoyment of it and after all, they’re all so darn cute when they’re being earnest, aren’t they?

 

Cynical Me and Why Mother’s Day Makes Me Uneasy…

But from a personal perspective,  I struggled against a sneaking suspicion.  The suspicion that Mother’s Day was more designed to capitalize on the guilty feelings of an adult population of children.  Children who had perhaps neglected to cherish their moms throughout the year.  I know, I know, cynical as all get out!  But cynical me could not escape the uneasy feeling that it was sort of a ‘one-day-a-year-makes-up-for-the -neglect-of-the-remaining-364’ sort of exercise.  By the way, I’m not unaware of the irony of that.  Just like everyone else, I also have a mother.  I wonder how she felt in those years on Mother’s Day?  Dare I ask?

But now my children are grownups.  I don’t get carnations from a basket at the front of the church.  And I never remind them that Mother’s Day is coming up soon.   I guess I’ve never gotten over that weird angst about a holiday that seems to be enshrined in the psyche of our societies and that equally, seems to have become synonymous with ’shopping’.

So Where Did Mother’s Day Come From?Mother's Day and the Gift of Time, 5 Ways to tell her you love her.

Many of our holidays are traceable to to the ancient Greeks and Romans.   And to a degree, Mother’s Day is no different.  Except back in their day, it was a festival to honour the mother goddesses, Rhea and Cybele.  In later generations that changed to Mothering Sunday in Europe and the UK and was held on the fourth Sunday in Lent.  But while those versions of ‘the day’ were firmly attached to their religious origins, as time passed, it eventually shifted to a secular event.

 

How Did a Peace Activist Inspire Mother’s Day?

In 1905, peace activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, died.  During the American Civil War, Mrs. Jarvis had provided care for wounded soldiers of both sides of that conflict.  A truly compassionate and caring woman, after the war was over, she founded the Mother’s Day Work Club, whose mandate was to address public health issues.

When she died in 1905, her daughter Anna Jarvis, set out to recognize her mother’s generosity of spirit.  She started a campaign to officially recognize the good work of all mothers.  The first memorial was held in 1908 in Grafton, Virginia.  But it wasn’t until 1911, that American politicians officially recognized Mother’s Day.

 

Do We Succumb to the Commercialization of Mother’s Day, Or…….

By the 1920’s, the commercialization of the holiday was well started.  And today that market is worth more than $23 billion.  Anna Jarvis’ original intention was that children would honour their mother’s with letters of love and appreciation.  But early on, the astute marketing efforts of Hallmark cards and other companies changed that.

However Mother’s Day started, it’s  a tradition that is here to stay.   And at the very least it’s good I suppose.  Because it does remind even us forgetful adult children, that someone had our backs when we were the most vulnerable.  So I guess it’s a good thing.  Otherwise we might sink even deeper into the drama that we can create in our own lives and to the exclusion of someone who was super important to our own existence.

So How Can You Tell Mom You Love Her?

I once knew a woman who liked to give her adult children Mother’s Day wish list.  And there are any number of posts in the ‘web-world’ that will present lists of possible gifts to give dear old mom.  Not to mention that Pinterest is replete with boards that are focused on gift lists including specific lists for Mother’s Day gift ideas.

But as I get older, my need to collect things has changed.  When we’re young and have children, we seem to be ‘collectors of stuff’.  Sometimes for it’s own sake and sometimes because there are so many interests and events going on in our day to day lives.  The result being that each hobby or fascination has it’s own list of products and tools that go along with it and so we buy, buy, buy!

Now though, after all the garage sales and trips to the thrift store to drop off a now uninteresting assortment of items,  I’ve come to understand that things are not me and they are not you and they don’t add to ‘us’.   

What does matter is time and how we make use of it especially in relation to the people we love.

How Can I Give Her More Time In This Life?

As I’ve sorted out and disposed of the ornaments and the extra kitchen things and stuffed numerous, seldom worn sweaters and tops into garbage bags for the Goodwill stores, I’ve learned to value time so much more than I ever used to.   And when it comes to Mother’s Day, as we are aging and as our own mother’s are aging, time moves into the realm of ‘priceless’.

 

5 Ways You Can Tell Her You Love Her With an Offering of TimeFlowers behind Mother's Day, 5 Ways You Can Give Her the Gift of Time

Letters?

Instead of a $5.00 card with it’s predictable poem about loving mom, you could write her a real letter that says those things in your own words.  Include memories that you have of her when you were little, the things that she did so selflessly for you and how you loved her then for it and love her even more now because of it.  Just remember to start it early enough that you can get it mailed on time.

High Tea?

Take your mom out for tea.   It will take a little looking probably, but most cities have wonderful little tea houses that would be a delight to share with your mom for an hour on a Sunday afternoon.  Different than just your typical restaurant, it’s an opportunity to share a new experience  and make a memory with her.  Vancouver has the Stanley Park Teahouse    and in Victoria, BC  there’s High Tea at The Empress.  But even small cities have their own little, singular spots.  Abbotsford has Ivana Teahouse for example.  My guess is, if you decide to go this route, that you should make sure that you reserve a table for your afternoon tea on Mother’s Day.  You might not be the only Mother/Daughter duo on that particular day.

Assistance?

Make a little coupon book where each page entitles her to claim help with something around the house.  Especially if Mom is starting to have some physical issues that make it more difficult to get around.  She may be uncomfortable with just asking you to come and clean her closets out, but if she knows that you expect sometime to help her with that specifically, she’d be less reluctant to call on you.  You can include anything that you’re comfortable with doing and hey, the book doesn’t have to be huge!  Two or three ‘coupons’ or even just one rain check for an afternoon of closet organizing on the first rainy day next month….it’s all good and all appreciated.

Dinner for Two?

Make her a special dinner for just the two of you to share at her place.  Take all the fixings, a bunch of fresh flowers to dress up the table and a special dessert to have with coffee afterwards….more memories my dears and that is what it’s all about!  The creation of special memories to build and bless the most special relationship of our lives.

A Road Trip?

You could set out on Mother’s Day for a little road trip with your mom.  Is there some place that you can drive to in a couple hours, that your mom has always wanted to see?  Why not rent a room to share with her and just jump in the car and go?  Even if you only go for one night and come home the next afternoon, it’s time spent together and priceless.

I hope that this has given you a few ideas.  And my dears, if there’s nothing here that rings a bell, but it triggers your own idea, don’t forget to share it with us!  I always love to hear from you and adding to the list of ideas on top of just you being you with us, well, how wonderful is that?

Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer:

As always, I will remind you that  I’m not a medical doctor.   I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health however.  And that’s what I’m sharing here.   All of it based on my own experiences and also the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

If you change anything about your activities or lifestyle, please check with your doctor.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.

2 In Life Happens

Organize the Mess Under the Sink! Now’s the Time!

Organize the Mess Under the Sink

Has the time come to organize the mess under the sink?  Are you finally ready to tackle that project because you’re fed up with wasting time trying to find your sunscreen or the extra bottle of shampoo that you bought last week?  I reached that point yesterday!  We’ve lived in this apartment for 6 months and every time I open the door under the bathroom sink, I cringe.  The clincher was looking for a bandaid in there and having to pull out half the collection of bottles and baskets to find them.

The official ‘Chaos Theory’ reads like this:  ‘the branch of mathematics that deals with complex systems whose behaviour is highly sensitive to slight changes in conditions, so that small alterations can give rise to strikingly great consequences’.

Organize the mess under the sink

 

As you can see from my photos, ‘chaos’ was the operative word underneath the sink in the bathroom.  The slight changes mentioned in the official chaos theory could be something as insignificant as buying one more bottle of shampoo and then trying to find someplace in all of that mess, to jam it in.  The ‘strikingly great consequences’ would be me trying to get the door closed after that without more things wanting to fall out onto the floor.

 

 

And now the time has come……..

 

organize the mess under the sink

Not that I haven’t been getting ready to organize the mess under the sink for a while.  A few months ago, I bought a couple of additional baskets to use and the small extension rods that I needed.  I already have the tools so I really haven’t had any excuse.  But let’s be honest, sometimes it’s easier to just close the door and walk away isn’t it?  Oh well, no more excuses!organize the mess under the sink, cat in front of open cupboard

Of course, any project always needs to be signed off on by the real management of the operation.  Fortunately for me, I’m reasonably capable so ‘the boss’ took a few minutes to survey the situation and found the preparation acceptable.  So he gave me the ‘thumbs up’ and I was ready to get going.

A Brief Explanation of What We’re Doing Here:

I’m going to show you how I used that no-mans land in the top half of the cabinet for some additional storage.

The plan is to use two little tension bars to stretch across the open space of the cabinet.  The back bar will be set higher than the front bar.  And they’ll support the two light plastic baskets that will hang between them and will provide storage space for some of the small items and for my hair clipper case.

 

Supplies and Tools that you’ll need in order to organize the mess under the sink:

 

  • 2 small extendable rods that will fit inside your cabinet.
  • 8    3/4″ wood screws
  • 2 baskets with a little lip all around the outside.  These will hang from the rods, hence the need for the lip.
  • 1 electric drill
  • 1 tape measure

So now for the actual process (which is super simple in case you’re not super handy with tools!)

organize the mess under the sink

After cleaning out the cabinet, I made four measurements, two on each side.  The back two measurements at 17″, are equal height and distance from the front.  The front two are each 12″ high and  4 1/4″  from the front of the cabinet box.

Next you’ll place the back extension bar in the finished position.  Extend it so that it reaches from one side to the other and will hold itself in place.  You can either use a little level to make sure it’s…..well, level, or you can eyeball it if you have a good eye for that sort of thing.

 

A helpful tip:

It’s a good idea to have your baskets handy while you’re doing this.  Before you set any screws, place the empty baskets in place on the bars.  This way you can be sure that you’ve set your rods at the best place for your needs.

 

Whichever you decide to do, next you’ll draw a line around the bottom 1/3 of the rubber end so that it looks like this:

That grey line shows where a rubber end would sit against the inside wall of the cabinet.  The two pink dots indicate where you will set a couple of screws.  Their purpose will be to support the weight of your loaded baskets.

The first time I used this method to organize the mess under the sink, I didn’t put those screws in.  No matter how much I tried to extend that rod, it slid down the cabinet wall.  But when you set two little 3/4″ long wood screws under each rubber end, the rod stays right where you want it.

Now this illustration shows the grey circle where the rubber end of your rod will sit on top of the heads ofOrganize the mess under the sink, end of a rod those two screws that you’ve set .  In fact, if you look closely at the last photo above, you can see the little screws underneath the ends of the rods.  And to the right here, is a closeup of what each end looks like.

Now that you’ve got the back tension bar in place, repeat the same procedure for the front, lower bar.

 

 

 

It’s coming along and looking wonderful don’t you think?

 

Organize the Mess Under the Sink, baskets under cabinet

Isn’t that looking wonderful?  There is nothing so wonderful and practical and comforting (to me anyhow!), as seeing a system develop, that will organize the mess under the sink!  I just love it and you know what?  I’ll probably come back and check out my newly organized cupboard, at least a half dozen times in the next few days.  Yes, that’s how much I love being organized.  It just warms my heart.  How weird is that eh?

 

 

 

AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR THE BIG REVEAL!  TA DAA!

Organize the mess under the sink

 

How Much Do You Love to Organize the Mess Under the Sink?

I once saw an illustrated meme that showed a cartoon lady standing in front of her open closet.  With her coffee cup in hand, she stood just gazing and admiring with a really pleased look on her face.  That is totally me.  So far, I’ve gone back to ‘gaze and admire’ at least three times this morning.  I didn’t take my coffee cup with me but I did go back, just to look!

Is it Time to Organize the Mess Under the Sink? messy cabinetOrganize the Mess Under the Sink, tidy cabinet

I love the whole process of organizing messy places.  To be able to find things easily, to have a proper place to put things.  It just makes life feel tidier and simpler.  One of these days, my laundry room/pantry will be next.  After that, the dreaded locker in the underground parking lot.  Now that will be a big job but one day it’ll get done. In the meantime, share with us, your thoughts, your plans, your dreams of bringing a little order into your world.  Who knows, you might have a tip that I and others haven’t thought of!  So by all means, do share some of your ideas to help organize the mess under the sink.

 

Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer:

As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor.  What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 In Health/ Relationships

6 Steps to Encouraging Confidence in Yourself

Encouraging Confidence in Yourself, tulip field

Hard as you may find it at times, actively encouraging confidence in yourself is a matter of self preservation.  There’s no one who can tear you down, like you can do to yourself!  We’re our own worst enemies because ‘the bully’ is in our own heads.

That endless, nagging voice that tells you that you are of little value or that you aren’t pretty.  Or that gives you the feeling that competence (in anything) isn’t one of your virtues, so what point is there in you trying to reach for the brass ring.  The voice that says, “why try something difficult, different or potentially beneficial because you’ll just fail anyway”.   Or perhaps you tell yourself that you aren’t an interesting person, so who would want to listen to you?

 

Is Low self-esteem threatening to drown you?

Low self esteem is like a hidden spring that burbles up constantly in our minds.  It’s the cause of a steady,  overflowing river of grey, dreary thoughts and deeds.  All thought of encouraging confidence in yourself is submerged if you’ve developed the habit of talking badly about yourself.  It’s like you get swept along by a current that will eventually drag you under.  It’s hard to pull yourself out, hard to survive.

 

Tulip Fields and Words of Encouragement

Encouraging Confidence in yourself, How You Talk to Yourself Matters, tulip field

Yesterday the sky was blue beyond belief and it finally feels like spring has arrived.  And with the tulips being at their peak right about now,  we decided to spend some time in the sunshine and make a visit to a nearby tulip farm.   The owner of the place has run the Chilliwack Tulip Festival on his place for the past few years and besides ‘sharing’ all that gorgeousness with the community, he also had cut flowers and pots of forced tulips, hyacinths of all the colours and narcissus for sale.

When we were standing there on the rise coming into the farm, glorious ribbons of colour stretched out before us. So brilliantly beautiful, it kind of filled my heart to the brim with joy.  The sun shining through the petals made the red ones seem redder, the purple ones even more intensely purple and the yellow and orange flowers, like bands of fire.

Ribbons of colour that hide the mud below

Even without the tulips, this end of the Fraser Valley is a beautiful place on such a glorious day.  Beyond the limits of those fields, the valley feels secure in the embrace of snow tipped, jagged mountains, pointing up to the endless blue sky.  That day, with the sun shining and the sky so clear and clean, the colours and clarity of all that beauty were something wonderful to behold.  If you could have been there with me, I guarantee, it would have taken your breath away.  And with the eagle circling high above all of that beauty, well that was like the jewel on the top of the crown!

But as we got closer to where the rows begin,  you could see  that the leading edges of the solid waves of brilliant colour began to break down.  I started to notice the individual flowers, mud splattered, some with broken petals and standing separately from each other.

ENCOURAGING CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF HAS AN EFFECT

While there are any number of reasons and causes of a loss of self esteem, the one that is the most accessible to you wrecking your own  confidence is so close at hand, that it’s the place to start.

How we talk to ourselves, from moment to moment is like those tulip fields and the mud.  To the casual observer and from a distance, it can look like it’s all good and you’ve got it all ‘going on’.  You’re doing well enough that encouraging confidence in yourself doesn’t seem to be an issue for you.  But closer inspection might show anyone watching, that your words too often are an assortment of seemingly casual remarks that are actually pretty self defeating.  Comments like, ‘I could never do that’, or ‘I’m not smart enough to work in that kind of job’.  Those are the ‘mud’ in your conversations.

Are you betraying yourself by your own words and actions?Encouraging Confidence in Yourself, Read more here to learn why your words matter, daffodil field

Or maybe it will be your subtle attitudes that are betraying you and closing the door on contentment. Like when you protest too loudly or too much that the gift that’s being offered is not necessary.  Stop the declarations that you’re not worthy, that folks shouldn’t bother with your birthday, blah, blah, blah.

And here’s a thought that I just want to stick in here for you to think about.  When we carry on like that when someone wants to give us something, you know, refusing it or accepting it begrudgingly, not only are you sabotaging yourself with your own words, but you’re actually stealing a moment of joy from whoever is giving it to you!  In a sense, the subliminal message to them is that their thoughtfulness was pointless and unwelcome.   So think on that for a moment if that’s how you act when you get a present or somebody does something for you.    Maybe one day I’ll tell you about how I came to that realization.  It was definitely a ‘growing’ moment for me, let me tell you.

 

How you talk to yourself  is so important and sets a tone for all of your life!

Anyway, that’s when you need to be reminded, that how you talk to yourself matters.  At least it matters if joy and success in life are your twin goals.  The things we do might be different from person to person, but at their most basic, it’s all about joy and success at whatever it is that that you chose to spend your days and months and years on.

 

What!  Another bad habit to work on?

Just as you can develop a bad habit of smoking or chewing your nails or even waking up at 3:00 AM every night, you can make a habit of talking to yourself in a disparaging way.  Probably a psychologist would tell you that you’re doing it so that you can ‘keep your power’ by being the one who says it.   Instead of someone else telling you those things in an effort to make you feel bad, you head them off by saying it first.  When they say it, the ‘hurt’ is immediate, whereas when you’re doing it to yourself, it doesn’t feel like an emotional wound.  The problem with that is that no matter who says it, ultimately you always feel bad.

 

Encouraging confidence in yourself. piles of coins, text for Yes and Awesome

Words compound just like interest. Choose the words which add to your stash of ‘positivity’!

It’s not just Interest that compounds!

Unfortunately too,  the effect is cumulative and the results are predictable.  Say those words often enough and you begin to believe your story of unworthiness and incompetence.  And when you believe you’re unworthy or inept, you quit trying.  And let’s face it, when you quit trying, your life goes downhill pretty darn fast.

 Companies pay lots of money to marketing experts to make up your mind or change your ideas about their products.  Isn’t it time you appropriated some of their time tested techniques and used them on yourself?  What cause could be better than encouraging confidence in yourself so that going forward, your life is improved?

6 WAYS TO START ENCOURAGING CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF

  1. Recognize that you are unique and have a unique story.  Understand that you do have something of interest to say to the world because no one else has lived this life in the way that you have.
  2. Accept that sometimes you might fail at something, but that’s not a reflection on you.  It’s just you finding out what doesn’t work.  Then look around for a new way to try.
  3. Start encouraging confidence in yourself by changing the other things you say to and about, yourself.   Use language like ‘yes I can’ and ‘I am worthy and competent’ instead of “no I can’t” or “you shouldn’t have (because I don’t deserve it”).   
  4. Quit saying ’no’ to challenges. Replace it with “I’d love to give it a shot”.   
  5. When someone gives you a gift or does something for you, just thank them.  They see something in you that makes them want to do you a favour.   Don’t argue with their perspective, simply appreciate it and love them right back by acknowledging their gift  graciously.
  6. Start taking note on a daily basis of the things in your life that you’re grateful for.  It’s amazing how encouraging confidence in yourself can happen when you just change your perspective about the things that come up in life.  There is always some kind of ‘silver lining’ if you look hard enough.  Don’t just see the closed door.  Start looking for that hidden passage that leads to freedom.

I would love to hear any thoughts you might have or instances where you’ve had your confidence shaken but have found a way to bring it back to face life anew.  Remember, they always say that mistakes are good for us because we can learn from them.  But it’s a lot more pleasant to learn how to deal with stuff because someone else ‘made the mistakes’.  So please do share with us and leave a comment.

Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer:

As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor.  What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.

0 In Meditation/ Relationships

How to Write a Letter For Love’s Sake.

An envelope with a note inside. How to Write a Letter for Love's Sake.

When was the last time you decided to write a letter to a friend or someone in your family?  Or is that an idea that hearkens back to an era so long behind us, that it just doesn’t come to mind?  These days we email or text,  we message on Facebook or we phone and leave voicemails.  But picking up a pen and a piece of paper?  Probably not even on the radar right?

Even your bill paying is becoming an automatic process.  Or invoices and statements arrive in your emails Inbox, so you’re not seeing  the bills arrive like they used to, in the snail mail daily delivery.  Which leaves the postman (or is that ‘post person’?) bringing a dreary assortment of flyers, the occasional official notification of something or other.  Or for a dwindling number of us, the rare envelope containing a bill demanding money.  All of that’s depressing in it’s own right isn’t it?  I mean, who looks forward to picking up the mail nowadays?

 

If you write a letter, folksy and friendly, how will they feel? 

On the other hand, if you’ve ever been the recipient of  a folksy, friendly letter from a someone you care about, you know how good that makes you feel.  Do you pick your mail up at your community mail box?  Or do you collect it from the hall floor where it lays scattered across the mat?   Maybe from the gently rusting box outside the door?  Wherever your mail is delivered to, do you remember that little surge of joyful expectation?  The pleasure at the sight of an envelope with your name handwritten on it and the name of someone you know in the top left hand corner?woman writing letter, How to Write a Letter For Love's Sake

 

Why I love the Internet.

Computers have been great in so many ways and I’m happy to be a ‘computer-age’ cheerleader.  I love the Internet!  Even with all the bad that goes along with it, I’m still a fan of it and our ability to access it.  I can learn about almost anything by going to Google.  You can find out how to cut decorative crown molding so that it can go up properly in your living room.  Or you can learn how to cook just about any dish that you can imagine.  And if there’s something that has tweaked your interest lately, you can use it to research any topic,  be it political, financial or where to buy a particular and unique Christmas present for somebody that you love.

 

But the downside of the computer era is…..

But besides giving us information, computers have also taught us how to expect instant gratification.  If the page takes more than a couple seconds to open up, we’re just as likely to ‘bounce’ from it impatiently.   Even our shopping habits are changing because of this.  According to retailers, we’re in the process of losing our enthusiasm for an afternoon of shopping at the mall with a friend.  More frequently, we’re  curling up on the couch with our laptops and surfing the Internet as we look for a new sweater or handbag.  We’ve saved time on the drive and can search through multiple stores in less time than it would have taken us to actually get to the first parking lot.

 

Instant gratification be gone!  Write a letter instead…

To write a letter though, is to take a step back from that need for speed. It means you have to slow down, give thought to the words you chose and then slowly write them down.  In a sense, I guess you could even call letter writing a meditative process simply by virtue of it being a ‘slow-mo’ activity that pretty much requires you to be thinking only about that.  Mindfulness in action you know.

The real reason, the best reason to write a letter is…..

But  the real reason to write a letter,  is more about the recipient than it is about you or me.  I imagine my mom, whom I do talk to every week on the telephone, opening up her mailbox and seeing an envelope that has her name on the front and mine in the top corner.  Or I think of my old aunty, as she spent her last few years in a seniors residence. 

In my mind’s eye, I see the smile on her face as as she is handed that envelope.   It has her name written by hand,  from someone who loves her. I can imagine that her steps are a little quicker as she walks back to her room with it clutched in her hand.   Or maybe this latest letter will go to one of my daughters.  A reminder in the midst of their crazy, hectic day, that Mom was (and is) thinking of them always.  You can even write a letter to your grandchildren.  It helps them learn to read, it reminds them that you love them.  And it opens them up to an experience that they’re not likely to get anywhere else.How to Write a Letter for Love's Sake

TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE A LETTER TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE

  1. Remember, people love getting a personal letter.  It’s a perfect reminder that someone out there loves them.

  2. You can take your time to phrase it just perfectly.  Or you can get silly and sentimental.  And whomever you sent it to, won’t see how red your face got as you shared from your heart.  Or if you’re very sad about something, they won’t see you when your face get’s all red and blotchy when you ‘ugly-cry’ before you can regain your composure.

  3. You can write a letter to anyone, even someone who’s difficult in person.  Children whether young or adult, grandchildren, friends, long lost family, everyone and anyone.   And keep in mind, it doesn’t matter whether you talk to them on the phone regularly or not.  They will still love your little ‘love-note’that comes in between calls.  I’ve even written letters where I started it one day.  Then just added a few lines each day over the next couple weeks.  Sort of journalling for the benefit of someone else.  Then when I had two or three pages done I sent it off.  And that way, they could know the month I had and the thoughts I ‘thunk’.

  4. It doesn’t have to be a three or four page letter.   A pretty postcard that reminded you of them or something that they love.  Even a little one pager, tucked into a pretty card can be a source of happiness for a lonely person.

    To: My Dearest Friend, Love from me, pen, envelope, stamps

    Keep your pen, your stamps and an envelope close and reach out lovingly.

  5. Try to be that bright spot in someone’s day.  Focus on loving them as you reach out and they’ll love you right back.

  6. Keep a little letter writing kit easily accessible.  Include a book of postage stamps, a pen, some little cards and notepaper and your address book.  The biggest cause of detours if you’d planned to write a letter, is having to scurry around collecting the stuff that you need to do it.  But if it’s all together in one place, it’s easier to not only motivate yourself, but the follow through is more likely to happen.

  7. Pick up a bunch of sparkly stickers from the Dollar Store.  Use them to doll up your letters, especially if you’re writing to your grandchildren.  Then not only are you sharing ideas, but a little bit of art for the ‘bling’ of it!

  8. While there are rules about how letters should be written, in this instance, throw them out.  ‘Talk’ to your friend like they are your friend and you’re just hanging out over a cup of coffee!  What would you say and how would you say it if that amazing person, who’s getting your wonderful letter was sitting across the table from you?  Write a letter that sounds like you.

  9. Send your letter, but don’t have an expectation that they’ll send one back.  Remember, you’re giving them a gift of love here and we’re not supposed to expect gifts in return.  Besides, as I’d previously written, the surest way to hurt relationships is to hold and hang on to expectations of others about the nonessentials of life.  So send it and let it go to do its magic.

  10.  And last but not least, keep a list of whom you’ve written to.  On that list, note their name, the date you wrote to them and a little note about anything special regarding that communication.  If it was a birthday card (with a five dollar bill in it for a grandson) or if you used one of the little cards with the red flowers and teapot this time…..just so that the next time there’s something new to anticipate.

How to Write a Letter for Love's Sake

Use a few shiny stickers to dress up your letters.

 

It might take a personal mental push to write a letter.  But like all the other good stuff in life, it’s one of those things that you’ll never regret doing.  If you already make a point of going the official postal delivery route, I’d love to hear the how’s, and why’s and wherefore’s of your reasons.  So don’t forget to leave a comment before you go, we want to know!

Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer:

As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor.  What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.

2 In Food/ Reviews

An Electric Knife Sharpener Guarantees Results

 

Choosing which electric knife sharpener is probably  going to be the hardest thing about your decision to buy one.  Deciding to buy it is a no-brainer and I’ll tell you why.

I’ve always been a do-it-yourself-er type person.  So when my kitchen knives would begin to squish the tomatoes instead of slicing through them, I’d pull the sharpening steel out of the drawer and give it a go with that.  Until then,  I’d forget about sharpening until my big knife was about as sharp as a butter knife.  After about five minutes of working on first one side, then the other, I’d finally admit to myself that I wasn’t really any further ahead.  My tomatoes were still turning into a sauce on the cutting board.

Maybe part of the problem when I would finally resort to it, is that sharpening steels or honing steels as they are often called,  aren’t designed to return an edge to a knife but to maintain the edge that you have.   But of course, when you don’t do something well, it’s easier to put it off until you have no choice but try to take care of the problem.

 

What Can You Learn on the Internet?  How About Knife Sharpening?

Well you can learn anything on the Internet right?  So I’d pull up a couple of Youtube videos on how to sharpen your knives.  I’d Electric Knife Sharpener, Guarantees Results. Tomatoes, Kniveswatch intently to see what I was doing wrong.  What is the right way to use those things, am I holding it at the precise, perfect angle and more pressure, less pressure?  Then I’ld try again.  Still with limited success.  That was usually the point where I’d call my husband and somehow, he’d manage to get some kind of an edge back on it so it was at least better than what I started with

It all changed the day he brought home a little electric sharpener!  I fell in love with this thing and think everyone who cooks should have one.  Even if you hate cooking, having an edge on your knives takes one of the aggravations out of the process.

There are several different kinds of electric knife sharpeners.   I have a Chef’sChoice Hybrid 220 and I find that it is perfectly suitable to the average home kitchen.   There’s also  a Chef’s Choice 1520 AngleSelect that has the capability to sharpen both Western knives and Asian knives which have a slightly sharper angle to them (15 degree as opposed to our 20 degrees).   Of course there are numerous other brands and Chef’sChoice has several models,

What Can a Basic Electric Knife Sharpener Do?

The Chef’s Choice Hybrid 220 is a little electric knife sharpener model that can be used both with electricity or manually.  Although if you have an electric sharpener why would you bother with the manual?  I suppose if the power went out and you were craving a sliced tomato?  Anyway, it has two knife guides, has 100% diamond abrasives and sharpens both straight edges as well as serrated.  So whether it’s kitchen knives or sports or pocket knives, it will do the job beautifully.

Electric knife sharpener, tomaotes, knife

Sharp knives are easier and safer to use in the kitchen.

 

I’ve had mine for about ten years now and it’s still working great.  And at $59.99 thru Amazon, is about mid range in price.  As you can see on the following link to the sales page with Amazon, it has 4.5 stars out of 59 reviews, so not bad at all.

 

Electric knife sharpener guarantees safer sharper edge, sliced tomatoes, knivesEvery Kitchen Should Have One of These!

I think an electric knife sharpener is an item that every kitchen should have.    Whether you are a gourmet cook or simply someone who’s there in the kitchen because well, you have to eat you know.  You only really begin to appreciate having a sharp knife in the kitchen  when you finally have one and get to take it out for a test drive.  And then you’re asking yourself, ‘how could I have gone so long without you my little sharpener?  Cutting it close?  Only with my Chef’sChoice Knife Sharpener!

So there you have it!  The next (and one of the best) purchases you could make for your kitchen.  I guarantee that you will appreciate this little gadget every last time you use it.  I’ll tell you what, after you’ve picked your favourite, whichever brand you chose, whatever model you decide on, don’t forget to come back and leave a comment and let others know how great it is.  Or how happy you are that instead of the sharpening steel, you’ve graduated to a better electric knife sharpener.

 

Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer:

 

As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor.  What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.

 

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6 In Health/ Sleep

Overcoming Sleep Deprivation Easily.

Woman asleep on open laptop-overcoming sleep deprivation

Do you feel like the left-overs from a sleep deprivation study, most mornings?  Can you remember a day when you actually woke up, feeling so good that the day felt like it had wonderful potential?  I had one of those a few years back.  It was so remarkable, that I can remember the moment that I realized I felt amazing, as I drove the truck out the driveway.  I actually noticed how great I felt for a change.   It was, as you can see, quite noteworthy and sadly it was a rarity.

My nights had turned into a routine of falling asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow and then waking up around 3:00am.  This would happen most nights.  And the longer I laid there, trying to fall asleep, the more my mind would begin to race .  I started slipping out of bed to head for the couch.  If I wasn’t going to sleep, at least I wouldn’t be bored right?

So I’d lie there for a while, with the tv turned down real low.   After an hour or two, I’d finally fall asleep, only to get up pretty close to my usual time.  I remember every day, feeling the effects of the building sleep deprivation.  I remember dragging myself through each day.   I’m sure that I’m not alone in this experience.  In fact, if you stopped in read this, you probably have your own variation of the same story of sleeplessness and chronic exhaustion.

 

The Blessings of Youth (are wasted on the young)!

The blessing of being young means that we seem to have a certain youthful ‘life-force’.  It somehow keeps us going and functional despite being sleep deprived a lot of the time.  That it was mostly self inflicted because we stayed up too late, played too hard and tried to hold down jobs at the same time is neither here nor there.  Sleep deprived is sleep deprived.  I think there comes a point as we get older and the body starts getting ‘glitchy’, that we kind of run out of ‘candle’ to burn at both ends.  And not only is that sleep deprivation making you feel terrible, but it effects your health.

Just as a point of reference, 57% of women are likely to have insomnia, whereas only 51% of men are likely to experience it.  More intrusion of our hormones into the life of women!  Oh joy!

 

 

11 Ways Sleep Deprivation is Doing Us In!woman sleeping on keyboard, Is Sleep Deprivation Ruining Your Life?

It is the cause of any or all of the following:

  1. Excessive daytime sleepiness.
  2. Affects job performance.
  3. Can cause a loss in the ability to make sound decisions.
  4. Impairs your ability to concentrate.
  5. Affects memory, learning skills.
  6. Impairs your immune system.
  7. Increases the possibility of respiratory disease, heart disease, weight gain.
  8. Sets the stage for Type 2 diabetes as it affects production of two hormones that control your appetite and feelings of fullness.  When these hormones aren’t abundant, that shortage can cause the release of insulin.  This allows your body to store more fat.
  9. Can lead to weight gain
  10. Can lead to poor impulse control, feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness, anxiety….
  11. Loss of interest in life, friends and family in extreme cases.

 

THE CAUSES OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION.

So now that we know what effect sleep deprivation has on us, what causes it?

Insomnia can be caused by all kinds of problems.  Some of them are hard to avoid and some are things we can adjust by a tweak here, an adjustment there.  

  • allergies
  • acid reflux
  • hyperthyroidism
  • chronic pain
  • various medications that we might have to take
  • sleep apnea
  • worries and anxiety

And the things that are easier to just avoid or adjust are:

  • any caffeinated drinks in the evening.  (caffeine takes 8 hours to be flushed from your system)
  • bright bluish white light from your computer screens
  • strenuous exercise, late in the evening
  • smoking cigarettes (because tobacco is a stimulant)
  • heavy meals late at night
  • television
  • working late in the evening
  • late in the day naps
  • rehashing the days ‘drama’.

 

List average lengths of sleep, Overcoming Sleep Deprivation

Are You Still Awake?

Have you managed to stay awake so far?  If you’re still with me, I’m sure that you’re wondering, what the heck can be done about this?  What are the magic answers that will get you off the sleep deprivation studies lists, and back into the land of the living where the sky is blue, the sun is shining and you feel fantastic!  There’s gotta be a way right!

A good place to start can be keeping a sleep journal.    This will help you figure out if you’re making any of the above mistakes (like pulling an all nighter with the office work and slamming coffee in an effort to stay awake.)  Or maybe you’ve gotten into a habit of a piece of dark chocolate with your last cup of tea in the evening while you catch up on Facebook.  Any chance of that happening in your house?  And yes, I am being facetious because, guilty, guilty, guilty!  At least the Facebook and chocolate part.  When you write your routines down, patterns are sometimes easier to spot.

 

 

So What Kind of Treatments Are There For Sleep Deprivation?

Treatments for sleep deprivation can include any of the following:

  • Light therapy – it mimics outdoor light during specific times of the day.  I should mention that I’ve read that someone with some types of eye disease should work with a doctor if you are thinking about light therapy for your sleep problems.  Also, if you decide to go this route, it wouldn’t hurt to see if your medical coverage doesn’t help with the cost of these things.
  • Catch-up naps are okay, but only if you limit it to about 20 minutes and not too late in the day.
  • Stay away from the coffee maker, soda drinks or anything else with caffeine (including the dark chocolate), late in the day.
  • Get more exercise and outside if you can arrange it is especially good for you.
  • Change the colour of the lighting from your computer screen in the evenings.
  • Don’t watch the late night news.
  • A warm soak in the tub can help you relax.
  • Listen to relaxing tapes or watch videos where a soothing voice can take your mind off all your days drama.  
  • Try the relaxation exercise when you’re settled under the covers.  To do that, you start off by tensing the muscles of your body and then one part at a time, relax them.  First your hands, then your arms, then your body, legs, feet…listen to your breathe as you do this and really pay attention to how your body is feeling.  Doing this not only helps your muscles to relax properly, but it also distracts your mind from jumping to your carousel of endless thinking

 

woman sleeping, a bed, a sheep sleeping on cloud and television, and a moon, Overcoming Sleep Deprivation

Do Your Bedtime Routines and Habits Help or Hinder?

The habits that you set up around going to bed and sleeping are so important. And consequently, can be a deciding factor in how you feel the next morning.  While we’ve talked about the obvious, like don’t drink coffee before bed, there are other things that are equally relevant.  Things like having a comfortable, clean bed to sleep in.  Adjusting the room temperature and darkening the room as much as you can.  Even what you do if and when you do wake up in the middle of the night.

For example, I’ve already mentioned that I used to slip out of bed to go to the couch and the low volume television.  That was my routine for years.  The problem is or was, that I didn’t know that I’d actually created and supported that HABIT and more importantly, it was changeable.  I didn’t realize that until we made a move across Canada.  In moving from the Maritimes to BC and faced with days of driving, we opted to take  1/2 a sleeping pill every night.  Even though we were sleeping in different beds  and had to put up with our restless cat sharing the same room, we managed to pretty much stay asleep every night.

 

Relief at Last!  Hooray!

As soon as we got to our new place though, we laid off the sleeping pill use.  And you know what?  We’ve been here for six months and I’ve slept through the night pretty much every night.  That’s when I began to understand that my waking in the night was actually only part of a bad habit that could be changed.  Sleeping through the night for one month was all it took.  Thirty days to set a new habit in place and the chronic sleep deprivation was a thing of the past.

If you’re still caught in the grinder of ‘wee hours waking’ and exhaustion, if you have no health issues otherwise and your life is reasonably stable and short on drama, maybe the idea of changing a ‘habit’ is something you can start exploring.  Of course you’re going to get your doctor involved.  You can start by explaining  how wretched you feel all the time and then ask him for a two week supply of a mild sleeping pill.  Explain to him or her,  that you only want to try to ‘change a habit’ (not start a new one).

 

Make the Adjustments to Your Routine and Then Slip Under the Covers…

Looking at the list above, I’d make any other necessary adjustments to your bedtime routine.  Then just when you crawl under the covers, take half of one of those tablets.  This way, your two week supply will last you one month.  And you’re very unlikely to develop any issues around the continued use of them.  If you decide to give this a try and discover that you’re finally sleeping through the night, I’d love to hear back from you.  We’d love to hear from you.  Your success in overcoming  your problems with sleep deprivation could help others.  You could be a great source of inspiration for those who are still crawling through the day and wishing it was bedtime, all the time!  So come back, or make a comment now and let us know how you did it.

Anyway my dears, love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer:

As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor.  What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.

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8 In Fitness/ Health/ Loosing Weight

Exercise Plan for Older Adults. Simple, Easy, Effective!

Woman demonstrating assorted exercises. Exercise Plan for Older Adults

The thought of establishing an exercise plan for older adults is probably less exciting than just about anything else that you can think of.  But it’s also more important than anything else to be honest.  If you were to write out a pro’s and con’s list, the con side would be pretty much empty.  Whereas your ‘pro’ side, well that side would have at least 10 benefits that I’m pretty sure, you’d be pretty stoked about.  Those benefits all focus on your body, but how about the improvement in your quality of life?  Little harder to measure maybe, but things like being able to walk around the block without getting out of breathe sort of speaks for itself.  Or how about being able to pick up or run around after your grand-babies?  That’s gotta be worth something right?

 

woman demonstrating exercises, exercise plan for older adults

What Does the CDC Tell Us About Exercise?

While the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, they’ve also kindly, given their approval to breaking it down into 10 or 15 minute chunks of time.  Which is great because it’s a lot easier to talk yourself into doing something physical for 10 minutes, than it is to force yourself out the door 3 or 4 times a week to go to the gym. Unless of course you fell in love with gyms the first time out.  But for the rest of us?  Sure thing,  10 minutes wins!  That’s something I could be comfortable with.  Besides,  new habits like an exercise plan for older adults takes time to establish.  Hey, we like to move slower you know.  We’ve learned the beauty of the phrase, ‘everything in it’s time’.  So baby steps of 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there makes it possible.

The Weights in My ‘Gym’

So last week, in this post I gave you a list of basic exercises that I do using my free weights.  In my ‘gym’ there is a pair of 10 pound weights, and a pair of 8 pound weights.  I also have a 15 pound kettlebell but I hardly use that.   And further down in this post, I’m going to demonstrate that list.  As well, I’ll provide some pointers for you to remember while you’re getting busy with your easy exercise plan for older adults.

 

 

Are you Teetering ?        Cartoon woman teetering on edge of cliff over ocean. Easy Exercise Plan for Older Adults

Now I’m going to assume that you’re either teetering on the edge of ‘going for it’ and starting a new easy exercise plan for older adults,  or you’ve already made that decision and now you just need to know what’s the basic you can get away with to start.  Like I mentioned somewhere around here, we used to have a home gym machine in our basement rec room.   But in the years since, out of necessity I’ve pared it down until I have just what is necessary and nothing wasted….well, except for the kettlebell.  I haven’t quite had the heart to ‘minimalize’ that out the door yet.

Not a Fan of Gyms?  You Can Make Your Home Your ‘Gym’

As you may have gathered by now, I’m not a fan of going to the gym.  My husband likes it and our daughter loves the gym.  But me?  Nope, not so much.  With the weights I mentioned just above, my home gym is our bathroom.  So I have my two pairs of weights just tucked down in a corner by the vanity.  And pretty much every day, just before I take my shower I do my workout.

I do a series of pushups, catch my breathe for a few seconds and then pick up a pair of weights.   With those, I do a couple sets each of two or three of the exercises that you’ll see below.  Adds about ten minutes to my ‘shower’ time, and that’s it.   Then if I take the dog out for a brisk walk later, I’ve easily hit the mark!

 

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR AN EASY EXERCISE PLAN FOR OLDER ADULTS?

  • Comfortable walking shoes (and of course, sunglasses and comfortable clothing as well as a cap to protect your skin from the sun).
  • A pair of weights that are just heavy enough to be a little bit of a challenge.  And a second pair of weights that are one step up from that.  So if the first set are 5 pound weights, then the second could be 8 or 10 pound weights.  I’d also suggest that you get those weights that have the colourful neoprene coating on them.  In Canada, Superstore carries that sort.   Even in summer when it’s really hot, my hands have never started feeling sweaty or slippery while I used them.  I did have one of those steel ones for a while but I always made sure the dog didn’t wander under my arm when I was using it.  Especially if it was a hot day.  My hand would start sweating a bit on the cold steel and it just didn’t feel as secure.

 

 

Just a small cost upfront, but the payback?  Priceless!

And that’s it.  Can you believe it?  Not even a hugely outlay of cash despite just starting out with an easy exercise plan for older adults!  How cool is that right?  And what do you get in exchange for that ’not huge’ outlay of cash?  More physical comfort, a sense of psychological accomplishment as you progress and a better looking body.  Who says we can’t be a little bit vain about how we look even as we get older right?  As well, you take fewer medications (which means more money stays in your pocket), less time at the doctor’s office, less time off work to go to the doctors office….and then there’s the good stuff like being able to scoop your toddler grandchild up for a big squeeze and feeling stable and strong!  The good stuff right!

 

Workout advice for an easy exercise plan for older adults!stacked up weights, Exercise Plan for Older Adults

So I’m going to demonstrate the above mentioned exercises.   Furthermore, I’ll  give you a little explanation of the basics of each one.  But, first a few points to remember, when you are using your weights at home:

  • Visit and discuss your plans with your doctor.  If it’s been a very long time since you were active or if you have any health concerns, talk to your physician before you jump in.
  • Keep your back straight and bend from the hips if you are called to bend forward.  Like when you do the Kickbacks or the Upright Row.  You want to protect your back muscles and keeping them straight does that.  It also provides it’s own isometric exercise action for those back muscles.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and expand your chest when you are up on your feet.  It’s been my experience that I have a tendency to kind of ‘curl-in’ on myself and get a little stooped through the day.   Maybe that’s part of the reason why humans seem to shrink as we age?  We’re actually just curling up.  As well, standing with your feet like that puts your centre of balance back over your pelvis which is better for your stability.
  • And when you open your chest up, your breathing is improved and it improves your frame of mind overall.  Somehow, it makes you feel more capable, more confident….at least that’s the way it affects me.  So when you’re working out, remember, stand tall and ‘open’.
  • You can sit down or stand up for some of them.

 

Professional Fitness Blogs vs. An Old Lady’s Experience.

There are a host of professional fitness blogs out there, that are going to give you ‘recipes’ for workouts and weekly workout schedules, but I’m not going to try and match them.  What I’m going to do tell you is to listen to your body.  Warm up before you dive in and then  do as many pushups as you can.

Starting with your smallest weight, choose and do three of these weight training exercises.   You’ll do each of those three exercises until you can’t make your arm go up  any more.  And then stop.  Take a 10 second break to catch your breathe.   And when you’re ready, move on to the next exercise. And the next one….  But whether you do it before your shower like I do or  another time, do it every day.  Go for a walk after supper.  And then you can regale your Significant-Other with a blow by blow description of how good you’re starting to feel.  Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire them to start their own exercise plan for older adults!

 

Small Adjustments, Big Payback!

So, you make this little adjustment in your routine, and I guarantee that you will start to feel better as time goes by.  It’s a given.  Our design calls for movement, so when you do what you were supposed to do?  Well let’s just say the benefits far outweigh the early aggravations!

Anyway, simplicity in all things is my motto and fitness is no different.  What I’m proposing here will get you started towards better fitness and better health.  And if you discover a latent passion for fitness and working out and want to turn into a gym rat, then you’ll be a little more ready to dive right into the deep end.

 

 

DEMONSTRATION PHOTOS OF AN EASY EXERCISE PLAN FOR OLDER ADULTS

I’ve never much liked having my picture taken so I felt totally awkward about doing  these photos folks.  But I thought it would be a good thing if I demo’d these exercises and mentioned some of the relevant information about them.  Like how I protect my back, etc.

 

Woman demonstrating a squat exercise. Easy exercise plan for older adults.

Squats, Hold a Chair for Stability or do Free Standing.

Squats

– increases hip flexibility, improves your ability to walk or stand up from a seated position.  It improves your balance.  And you can perform this exercise free standing or you can use a chair back or a counter edge for support.  Just remember to keep your back straight and as you ‘sit’ down, your knees shouldn’t pass your toes.  Squats are also great for bringing your backside back up where it belongs, tightening and toning your butt muscles.

 

Woman demonstrating seated bicep curl. Easy exercise plan for older adults.

Bicep Curls

Bicep Curls

–  strengthens your bicep muscle in the front of your upper arms.  Use weights appropriate to your ability and move up as you get stronger.   If you’re going to buy a set of weights to start with at home, I’d recommend the foam wrapped kind.  You can buy in weights from 2 to 15 pounds and the foam exterior means they don’t get slippery if your hands are a little sweaty in warm weather.

 

Seated woman demonstrating a tricep exercise. An easy exercise plan for older adults.

Tricep exercise – Single arm overhead extension.

Tricep Exercise

– this type of movement is the one to focus on, to tighten up those ‘bat wings’ ladies!  The tricep muscle is at the back of your arm and when those muscles shrink from lack of use, you wind up with those dreaded bat wings!   But you can minimize them by working them.  As well, any pushups that you do, whether against the wall or down on the floor are going to benefit those muscles as well.  As you get stronger, you can  eventually raise your ‘weight arm’ up so that it is pointing straight up.  And you lay that weight back, then come back to vertical.  But continue always to be stabilizing that arm by holding onto your elbow.

 

Woman demonstrating a kickback exercise. Exercise plan for older adults.

Tricep Exercise, called a Kickback.

And here’s the second kind of tricep exercise

– also using an appropriately sized weight.  This second one is called a kickback and can be done either sitting or standing.  If you’re going to do it sitting, then remember to lean forward, feet well placed to stabilize you.   In the beginning, use the lightest weight.  It looks simple but you want to be sure to build up your strength with the smaller weights.  Then you can  get adventurous with ‘the big guys’.

 

Woman demonstrating Upright Row exercise. Easy exercise plan for older adults.

Upright Row

UPRIGHT ROWS 

– will tone your upper arms and chest muscles and back muscles.  They also improve your ability to move your shoulders.

 

Woman demonstrating the plank exercise. Easy Exercise Plan for Older Adults.

The Plank, Version 1 (on your forearms)

A woman demonstrating the plank exercise. Easy Exercise Plan For Older Adults.

The Plank – Version 2

THE PLANK

will strengthen your  back, abs, shoulders, upper arms and improve your balance.  All while it works your hamstrings and your butt muscles.   Your toes should be a comfortable distance apart and your  elbows or your hands under your shoulders.   Raise your knees off the floor and keep your top line as flat as you can.  Hold that pose for as long as you can.  Probably the best that you can do will be only a few seconds in the beginning.  And that’s just fine.  You just keep adding the seconds to it with practise.

 

Woman demonstrating 'wall' pushups. Easy exercise plan for older adults.

Pushups – Against the Wall

PUSHUPS

– are a great way to use your own body weight to provide resistance.  No equipment necessary and should be part of everyone’s easy exercise plan for older adults.   They work your upper body and strengthen all the core muscles that help you stand upright and keep you stable on your feet.  But if you aren’t able to get down on the floor, you can substitute a wall pushup to provide a good workout for those same muscles.   Just remember to wear slip proof shoes or do this one barefoot.

And again dears, as you get stronger, you can start including the floor version in your exercise plan for older adults.  You may find that you have to cut back on the number that you’re able to do, but that’s okay.  Just do as many as you can.  Keep to that number for a few days, then add one more pushup (or maybe three?).  I’m not sure how long exactly it took, but I started with five and now my routine includes 45 pushups.

 

Are we Excited Yet!!!

Are you thoroughly excited now about getting started with your new easy exercise plan for older adults?  Or maybe if I rephrase that.  Are you thoroughly excited about feeling stronger and healthier after you’ve been working out for a couple months?  Oh yes, much more palatable eh?

Well I hope that you do decide to try this.  As you can see, getting active and becoming healthier doesn’t have to take up your life, but it can be fitted into the little spaces of time in your life.  Finally, I’d love to hear your success stories if you decide to get going with this or if you’ve already turned your health story around because you got active.  Bring us your good news stories!  We’d love to hear from you.

Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer:

As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor.  What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.

10 In Fitness/ Health/ Loosing Weight

Starting a Beginners Senior Exercise Program!

If I was going to start a beginners senior exercise program, undeniably I’d be concerned about safety from injury.  That only makes sense doesn’t it?   I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but things are definitely not working like they once did.  Your shoulders probably make slightly unpleasant grinding noises when you’re putting that box back up on the top shelf of the closet.  Your knee has started clicking and twinging periodically and your back seems to be out, more than it’s in!  Those are some of the major annoyances that you might one day share with your doctor.  Doesn’t even take into account the half dozen other little complaints that have changed in your life and none of them for the better.  You may even feel like you’re fighting the losing ‘Battle of the Bulge’ and that’s got you completely demoralized.

Do you remember that I mentioned in my About page, that I started paying attention to fitness a few years back?  We’d decided to buy a couple of ‘back-yard’ horses for our kids.  Realizing that their care was going to be up to me, and aware of the size implications, I knew that I’d have to be strong.  After all, there’d be massive amounts of manure to deal with, hay bales to move around and horses to hang on to.  No ‘wimping out’ allowed at all!  So I started a long time ago.

 

Why Wait for Spring…..

But you know, just off the top of my head, I can think of three sayings that apply to the idea of you starting a beginners senior exercise program even at this age.  ‘There’s no time like the present’!  ‘Better late than never’, or how about, ‘Why wait for spring, do it now!  That isn’t just applicable to yard work by the way and it does apply to everyone. 

No matter your age or your infirmities, you can start to do something, any time you want to.  You just have to want to and you have to do it sensibly!  Making the decision to start a beginners senior exercise plan is the first step and probably the hardest.  It’s scary to make a commitment like that because damn!  that rut that you’ve been ‘resting’ in has gotten awfully comfortable hasn’t it!  And don’t we all hate leaving our comfort zones?

So what does that mean, ‘doing it sensibly’?

STARTING A BEGINNERS SENIOR EXERCISE PROGRAM: KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER

  • Check with your doctor before you start and especially if you have any health considerations to keep in mind.
  • Decide what your goals are going to be and be reasonable about them.  Goals are good because they help you appreciate your progress even as they give you something to aim for.  If you can do 10 bicep curls with an 8 pound weight, then it wouldn’t be unreasonable to aim for 15 repetitions by the end of the month!  Or having a goal of getting to the gym twice a week is more reasonable and more likely to happen in the beginning, than telling yourself that you’re going to go to the gym five days a week for the next year.  That just sounds overwhelming and overwhelmingly unpleasant!  So be realistic and be reasonable.  Aim for twice a week and see how you feel after three or four weeks like that.  Or maybe to start, your goal is to simply be able to walk around the block without getting winded.
  • Start a  journal about your fitness plans and goals as you’re getting started on your beginners senior exercise program.  Sometimes putting things down in writing helps to keep on you on track and to keep going.  You could start with a little note about what you are able to do today, how fit and healthy you actually are.  You could maybe include your most recent blood pressure numbers, your weight, etc.  Then write down what your goals are.  Put a date to that, and then get on with it.  Keep track of your progress as you gradually add repetitions or the number of blocks walked or how many laps you managed to swim!  Just being able to see your improving numbers will help keep you motivated.

ACTIVITIES FOR BEGINNERS SENIOR EXERCISE

  • Remember to include a warmup before you get busy.  Just five minutes of brisk walking while you swing your arms or 10 minutes on a stepper, anything that gets your heart rate up and your blood flowing!  Hey, maybe if you love to dance, put on some music and get revved up to sounds you love!  Mental benefits as well as the purely physical! 
  • Pick an activity that you think you might like or that you think may accommodate your level of fitness best.  Try it out for a while but if it just doesn’t excite you or you truly hate it, then switch to some other activity.  See which one works best for you.  Just make sure you don’t quit because the first choice didn’t pan out.  Eventually you’ll find the ones that you enjoy doing the most and then you’re off and running (maybe literally!).

 

Shelves of assorted sizes weights, woman walking away, stocks of rolled up mats-Beginners senior exercise equipment

 

I Have to Spend How Much Time On This???

The Centre for Disease Control suggests a total of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise.  They also suggest that two days each week you should be focusing on weight training to strengthen your muscles. That’s the equivelant of roughly 20 minutes per day!  Not that much right?   And there’s so many activities  to chose from!  The only criteria is that you’re moving at moderate intensity.  So walking, dancing, biking, hiking, raking the leaves off the lawn entirely, going to the gym or shovelling snow on the front walk!  It all counts.  And it doesn’t have to be all at the same time!  It could be 10 or 15 minute increments with the only criteria being that you’re moving at a moderate intensity, which includes your heart rate raised at least a little bit.  Although, ‘the MORE the merrier’ would apply here, so slow and leisurely is not allowed!

Dress comfortably and wear slip proof shoes no matter what you choose to do.  beginners senior exercise shoes

In the beginning, while you’re learning, either sign up with a fitness coach or join a class at the gym.  A good teacher can help you avoid injury and learn the right way to use the equipment or weights.  And if you decide that the gym scene isn’t for you, then you still benefit by knowing how to use the small assortment of free weights that you’re going to buy to use conscientiously at home…..(I’m trying to plant a subliminal thought in your head here, did you catch it?).

Small steps in the beginning and as you become fitter, you can begin to push yourself a little harder.

 

RECOVERY AND BEGINNER SENIOR EXERCISE PRACTITIONERS

Give yourself more time to recover from your workouts or whatever form your exercise takes.  As you get older, muscles take a little longer to recuperate than when we were in our 20’s.  Sad but true.

Include some very careful, light stretching as part of your recovery process.  After a workout that has me feeling a little ‘ouchy’ and kinked up,  I find that it helps if I make a point of doing a little stretching each day.  I think it invigorate the blood flow to those tired and achy muscles which in turn speeds healing.  Just a couple minutes of bending forward, stretching up, to the sides…..just move slowly and with awareness of how you’re feeling so that you can stop before you go too far.

Also, over time, our tendons and ligaments shorten and get tighter so stretching very carefully and gently will help loosen things up.  With more elastic tendons and such, you’re less prone to injury.  Just remember, cold muscles can be injured by abrupt movements, so slow and careful and stopping just before the pain starts.  Actually on all aspects of a beginner senior exercise plan, slow and careful is the Prime Directive isn’t it, whether warming up or working out?

 

exercise equipment on shelves-for Starting a Beginners Senior Exercise programSo far, we’ve talked about the main points to remember when you’ve finally decided to start your new lifestyle, but I think it’s good to be reminded now and then, of ‘why’ we should be doing this.  You’re going to climb out of your rut because of the:

BENEFITS OF STRENGTH AND BALANCE TRAINING FOR THOSE WHO ENGAGE IN A BEGINNERS SENIOR EXERCISE PLAN:

  • Maintains bone mass – Due to hormonal and lifestyle changes, osteoporosis is always an issue to work against.
  • Maintains muscle mass – makes lifting things easier and makes your body look healthier and more attractive.
  • Prevents falls
  • Makes daily activities easier (climbing the stairs, carrying groceries, picking up the grandchildren….), all of which improve your quality of life.
  • Increases muscle elasticity
  • Brings nutrients to muscle tissue.
  • Strengthens your tendons and ligaments which makes it easier to hold yourself upright.
  • Reverses the aging process and you can read more about that here.https://agelessatsixty.com/reverse-aging/

 

Changing the Labels

Once you’ve read about the benefits of exercise and have decided to start a beginners senior exercise program it’ll probably help you keep going if you try to change the way you think about it.  Firstly, there’s no deadline for this change in your life.  This isn’t about a crash course in fitness so that you can cross your first and only 5K run off your bucket list and then retire to your armchair!  This is about a new active lifestyle for you.

And if you’re serious about spending this last third of your life feeling as good as is humanly possible, then you should be changing how you think about other things too.  Instead of ‘going to your beginners senior exercise class twice a week FOREVER’, start thinking about it as part of your new ‘healthy and active lifestyle’! Just like once a week you take out the garbage, now being active is just what you do a couple times a week.  Part of the weeks ‘scenery’ you know?  You can even apply that ‘thinking adjustment’ to how you eat can’t you?  Instead of just ‘I’m eating dinner in a while’, start thinking in terms of you’re providing the ‘highest octane fuel’ for this machine that you’re restoring!  I guess that metaphor would work better if I was primarily writing to men wouldn’t it?  But I’m sure that you all get my meaning.  It’s all about the perspective that you decide to look at anything, that determines how difficult mentally, it will be for you to make it part of your routine.  Words change attitudes change actions!

TYPES OF BEGINNER SENIOR EXERCISE TO FOCUS ON…

  • SQUATTING – increases hip flexibility, improves your ability to walk or stand up from a seated position.  It improves your balance.  And you can perform this exercise free standing or you can use a chair back or a counter edge for support.  Just remember to keep your back straight and as you ‘sit’ down, your knees shouldn’t pass your toes.
  • BICEP CURLS – strengthens your bicep muscle in the front of your upper arms.  Use weights appropriate to your ability and move up as you get stronger.   If you’re going to buy a set of weights to start with at home, I’d recommend the foam wrapped kind.  You can buy in weights from 2 to 15 pounds and the foam exterior means they don’t get slippery if your hands are a little sweaty in warm weather.
  • TRICEP EXERCISES – this is the one to focus on to tighten up those ‘bat wings’ ladies!  The tricep muscle is at the back of your arm and when those muscles shrink from lack of use, you wind up with those dreaded bat wings!
  • DUMBELL SHOULDER PRESS – works the front of your shoulder the most, but also works the rest of the shoulder muscles to an extent.  As well, your back muscles are called on to work to stabilize your torso.  And all of this working together, serves to protect your rotator cuff muscles and prevent debilitating shoulder injuries.
  • UPRIGHT ROWS – will tone your upper arms and chest muscles and back muscles.  They also improve your ability to move your shoulders.
  • THE PLANK – will strengthen your back, abs, shoulders, upper arms and improve your balance.  All while it works your hamstrings and your butt muscles.   

Do I Go On, Or……

Now I was going to continue on and provide some guidelines on how to do the exercise’s listed above but you know, it’s getting a little long here so I think maybe I’ll get that ready for next week.  How does that sound?  In the meantime, you could read here to find out how exercise actually can reverse aging!  Or you could spend some time reading about some of the great reasons to up your plant intake significantly.

 

Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer:

As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor.  What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.

6 In Food/ Health

Leftover Mashed Potatoes? Potato Dream Pie Anyone?

illustrations of cooking utensils, Recipes For Success!

Every time you open the fridge, the container of leftover mashed potatoes is sitting there, daring you to get inspired.  Maybe a little hard to do considering your challenger right?  Lumpy, pale, no appealing sauces to remind you of how good it tasted last night, just plain ole potatoes.  Pretty blah!  But I’ve come up with a wonderful idea to make use of them as well as to get a pretty substantial kick at the ‘nutritional’ can!

Also it’s actually a good recipe to follow the day before you go grocery shopping because it uses up the last bits of produce from the last shopping excursion as well as the leftover mashed potatoes!  That way when you come home tomorrow, bags loaded with all those lovely fresh veggies, you’ve got room in the fridge for them.   While we’re on the topic of grocery shopping, if you want a little more information on the benefits of trying an all plant way of eating, there’s some great information here.

Another benefit is that it’s pretty easy and if you’re going to be tight for time on the day that you want to serve this dish, you could always prep the night before.  So here goes and hope that you enjoy this as much as we do!

 

Food preparation sequence, leftover mashed potatoes becomes potato dream pie.

 

Ingredients That’ll Put Some Pizzazz in Leftover Mashed Potatoes.

1 19 oz. can     Navy Beans

1 cube              veggie soup cube

2 sticks            chopped celery

1/2 cup            sliced carrots

3 large             white mushrooms, chopped into bite sized chunks

1/2 cup            chopped onion

1/2 cup            chopped peppers

1.5 Tbsp.         Braggs Liquid Soy Seasoning

1/3 tsp.            black pepper

1/2 tsp.            turmeric

1/3 tsp.            chili pepper flakes

2/3 tsp.            onion powder

1 tsp                 dry parsley

1/6 tsp.            dried oregano

1 Tbsp.             corn starch

3/4 cup            cold water

 

Note on Ingredients:

I’ve listed the veggies that I included this time in my ‘Potato Dream Pie’ but you can throw any bits and pieces in there.  Half a sweet potato, one left over carrot, even the tiny bit of fennel bulb that you have left!  It’s all good.  Also, while I’ve listed a can of navy beans in the ingredients, if you want to save a little money on your cooking, you can always use dry beans that you’ve soaked and cooked previously.  I like to soak, cook and freeze a bunch ahead of time in individual containers.  That way they’re always there when I need them instead of opting for the canned version.

 

Method for Using Up Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Open the can of navy beans, drain and rinse them and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan with a 1/4 cup of your water and break down your soup cube so that it begins to soften more quicly.

Starting with the hardest veggies, water saute them for a couple minutes.  Continue adding your veggies with the tenderest being the last.  The goal is to get them almost ‘mouth tender’ but not overcooked.casserole topped with left over mashed potatoes

Add the drained and rinsed navy beans.  Mix in well.

Time For the Seasonings (plus a hint to make it that cornstarch mix better!)

Add your assorted spices, including the corn starch and cold water.  Add your Braggs Liquid Soy Seasoning.   Stir your mixture carefully and watch it as it begins to heat and thicken.  [TIP:  Here’s a tip which helps keep your corn starch from wanting to be little lumps in the liquid.  In a small container, add all your dry spices AND the corn starch.  If you mix this all together while it’s dry, when you add it to your veggies with water, the corn starch is already evenly distributed in amongst the dry spices.  So no little lumps and bits that defy stirring in!]

Once your veggie mixtures gravy is nicely thickened, pour into a 9 x 9 casserole dish.  Carefully spoon your cold left over mashed potatoes on the top of your vegetables.  Cover with a lid and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.  While my guideline is 20 minutes, it’s a good idea to check on it from time to time.  Because part of it is already starting out hot, it may take a little less time (or it may take a little more depending on how good your oven is).  So keep an eye on it and when you can see the gravy bubbling around the edges, a little poke in the middle will tell you if it’s hot all the way through, and ready for serving.

And that’s all there is to using your leftover mashed potatoes!

I hope you enjoy this super simple, ‘uber’ nutritional, one dish meal that covers all the bases.  And when you do try it, please, come back and tell us all about it.

Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!

 

Disclaimer

As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor.  What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts!  Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.

My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life.  I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.

I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician.  This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.

As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links.  That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.