When you retired you probably imagined going out to eat every night and maybe even fantasized about a live-in cook. But now you have to cook for yourself -- you may not even want to. Appetite and tastes change as we get older. How can you enjoy cooking and stay healthy? We have some tips.
“Many people experience a loss of appetite with age. It’s also common for your sense of taste and smell to diminish. This can lead you to eat less.” Healthline
We’re not talking about eating Skittles here, but in moderation it is a good thing. A variety of fruits and veggies make life more interesting and ensures you get the nutrients your body needs.
So, how can you make it interesting? Going to your local Farmer’s Market (in a safe way, please, because of COVID-19) is key. You get a great walk outside, see other people in your community (from 6’ apart), and can eat what’s in season for your area. That sounds like a win-win to us.
Most vendors at Farmers’ Markets have creative ways to use their produce to your advantage. Have you added strawberries to your chicken salad? It’s a great way to get more Vitamin C, too. Citrus hasn’t cornered the market on Vitamin C.
“Eat fruits and vegetables. They can be fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens or broccoli, and orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes.” Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN
You control the salt, dairy, fat, and protein when you prepare your meals at home. If you’re cooking for yourself you may as well make more to freeze, right? So, how can you get your friends involved?
Maybe one of your friends also wants to do meal prep. Why not get together over the weekend and do it together.? Yay for social time! You can swap recipes or -- even better -- divide and conquer! Remember those cookie exchange parties during the holidays? You can do that with your friends with prepared meals.
Bento boxes are an easy way to control portions and maintain variety. Most grocery stores carry reusable plastic containers at a low cost. Not every meal prep needs to be catered by Pampered Chef, but if it’s your thing, do that, too.
We all know that fat brings flavor but they're not mutually exclusive. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy fats. Combine healthy fats with different flavors to spice things up. It doesn’t all have to be about heartburn, you know?
“Pick healthy fats, which can serve as a source of concentrated, healthy calories. Healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil, peanuts and other nuts, peanut butter, avocado, and fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Limit unhealthy saturated fat including fatty red meat.” Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN
Savory and sweet, citrus and spice, it’s really up to your imagination. Flavor profiles are fun to play with and your new meal prep friends may have awesome suggestions, too.
Go ahead and try new things. Add the enjoyment back to healthy eating again. Mix in friendship and you’re one cucumber lime water away from meeting your health goals, senior or not. Live your best life!