Retirement Woes: Is it Tuesday or Wednesday?

retirement woes

This quote is from a post written nine years ago already; wow, time does fly. At the time I was describing the changes in my lifestyle since my retirement from the healthcare industry:

Since retiring last April, it seems I never know what day of the week it is.  I rely on my fifteen-year-old son’s school and hockey schedule to keep me somewhat on track.  My other two sons are older, can drive themselves around and so keep track of their own schedules.  The rest of the side effects of retirement are all positive…

To start, I spent a lot more time doing the things I had previously called hobbies…

I have read more books in the past year (since retirement) than I did in the previous 25 years combined.  My favorite was the Millenium trilogy from  Stieg Larsson; the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Girl that Played with Fire, and the Girl that Stepped on the Hornet’s Nest.   I had a hard time putting these books down once I started reading them, the suspenseful storyline and believable characters were gripping, from the beginning of the first book to the last pages of the third book.   Yes, I did read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, but it didn’t rate nearly as high in my books (pun intended!), and by the third one, I found the plot to be quite predictable and boring.

My other (pre-retirement) hobby was gardening, which currently moved to the front burner in the form of a new business called Gardens4u.  This was a no-brainer for me as I had spent many previous gardening seasons volunteering my green thumbs to friends, family and neighbours.  I now do gardening on a full-time basis from April to October, depending only on Mother Nature for restrictions.

I was also able to spend more time at our family cottage, and what a summer it was for living lakeside.  The water temperature was the warmest it has ever been; I’m sure I spent more time in the lake than I have in the previous 10 years combined.

In the last half of 2011 and throughout 2012 I discovered firsthand the health benefits of a wheat-free diet.  Just recently I began to share my knowledge with friends and family concerned about the same health issues.  Please share your knowledge on this important subject by visiting my blog…

Retirement takes getting used to, but I am game!

Update:

Fast forward to 2022. My interests are still the same, just evolved over time. My husband has now joined the retirement club. This means neither of us knows what day of the week or month it is. His work schedule kept me (somewhat) organized chronologically since my retirement.

Compromises

Hubby’s retirement also means lots of adjustments and learning to choose my battles. Compromise is key. For example, I have learned to find the positive aspects in his need to re-organize the kitchen cupboards after almost forty years. As long as they are decluttered, something he is not known for, I am happy. Another example? Loading the dishwasher, something I have (predominantly) done over the same forty years. Knock yourself out, dear, I have other things to accomplish.

Extended Family

We are now empty nesters. Our three sons are grown up and long gone, graduated from post-secondary schools, and doing well in the workforce. Two have purchased homes of their own and the same two are parents themselves. The third son (almost 25) is finding it harder to break into the homeowners market with the current real estate conditions, rising inflation, and a struggling economy. But that’s a whole other post, and fortunately, he has time on his side.

We are currently blessed with six (!!) healthy, adorable grandchildren. I must admit that my life revolves around them. I figure in a few years when they are all registered in school and extracurricular activities, Grandma days will be few and far between.

Gardens4U

My beloved gardening business is winding down this year, with my current focus on design instead of maintenance. I’m okay with that as garden design was my original business dream. Several of my garden designs can be viewed on my YouTube channel in a time-lapsed format. Modern technology is wonderful!

Cottage Renovations

Cottage renovations have been in our conversations for several years now but unfortunately we have not accomplished much. My father-in-law’s declining health and subsequent passing created the first delay, then Covid and the resulting pandemic extended the delay. Hopefully this season we can get our renovation plans back on track instead of spinning our wheels.

Health Issues

My health issues from the last decade have been resolved, mainly by eliminating wheat from my diet. Of course, new ones have developed this decade, as I am not getting any younger. I am finding though that regular exercise and clean eating keep me relatively healthy.

Travel Plans

Something else that moved to the back burner thanks to the pandemic was our travel plans. We did squeak in a trip to Mexico last November between covid travel restrictions. My brother’s destination wedding was a great excuse to find a way to plan the (much needed) getaway. Hopefully, more travel is in our future.

We are counting on the next decade (at least) to be full of adventure and compromise.

photo credit

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

an apple a day

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Do you believe it?  I do.   Apples are an incredibly easy, inexpensive, and delicious way to add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet.

Apples have been around forever, since the days of Adam and Eve. What have we learned about the correlation between apples and good health?

The Health Benefits of Apples

Apples are fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, low in sodium, and full of fiber (with the peel on), pectin, vitamins, flavonoids, minerals and antioxidants. One apple contains approximately five grams of fiber and just eighty calories.

Which Minerals are Abundant in Apples?

Apples are full of magnesium and potassium which help control your blood pressure.   Quercetin is a flavonoid found in apples that protects your artery walls as well as your lungs.  Boron, a trace mineral that is absorbed from the soil, is also found in apples. It has been shown to be beneficial for your joints. 

Antioxidants Prevent and Stop Cancer

Research has proven that antioxidants are helpful to prevent disease and even to stop the growth of cancer cells once they are present in your system.

Apples Alleviate Constipation

Doctors have suspected for years that constipation is at the root of many illnesses. Constipation is caused by insufficient fiber in the diet. Conditions such as appendicitis, varicose veins, diverticulitis, hernias and hemorrhoids are all thought to be caused by strained bowel movements.

Most people know that fiber can alleviate these strained bowel movements. An apple a day can go a long way to keeping your body regular and free from constipation. My children can attest to the fact that anytime they complained of a stomach ache, I would always ask them when the last time they had a good poop. I would then prepare them a large bowl of sliced apples (with the peel still on) sprinkled with cinnamon.

See a previous post all about what your poop will tell you.

Pectin in Apples Stops Diarrhea

Pectin is a carbohydrate found in apples that helps our intestines when diarrhea is a problem.  This is because pectin causes food to congeal, just as it does when you use it to make jam or jelly. 

Most mothers are familiar with the BRAT diet recommended when their children have diarrhea. It consists of bananas, rice, unsweetened applesauce and toast. Most of these ingredients are bland and easy on the stomach.  The applesauce (apples without the fiber of the peel) is primarily included in this diet because of the pectin.

Now that you know just how good apples are for you, be sure to eat an apple a day to stay healthy or get healthier.

Starting today!

photo credit

Canada Going to Pot Today

pot plant

Canada is going to pot, literally.  Personally, I have thought so since our last (2016) federal election, but that’s another story.

Today, October 17th, 2018, Canada is legalizing marijuana, much to the chagrin of many citizens.  This was an election promise our prime minister made to win votes from the younger age group.  He’s now making good on that promise with as much thought and preparation (not much) as many other ridiculous and ill-advised things he is responsible for.

AKA pot, weed, or cannabis, marijuana can now be smoked anywhere (with few exceptions) regular cigarettes are allowed.  Users are supposed to act responsibly.  Parks, arenas and recreational centers are pot-free, but this will be very difficult to enforce.  As will driving under the influence of pot if roadside testing is as inefficient and flawed as rumored.   So difficult in fact that the mayor of Ottawa predicts legalizing pot will cost the city (at least) a cool 8 million dollars per year.  The federal government has created (another) the mess but is leaving the municipalities to deal with the fallout.  Great, just what this country needs, more examples of how to fritter away the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.

Hoping to remove the (still) illegal street sources, the new laws say brick and mortar stores must apply for a license to sell pot.  These licenses will not be available until spring, so these stores currently open for business must close their doors and reopen when they have been granted a license.  Those that do not close while waiting for their license will be shut down by authorities and will relinquish their right to ever obtain such a license. Until then pot is only available (legally) through government-run facilities.  Yep, that will eliminate the illegal sources. Not.

So, who wins with this new legislation?  The group of individuals that already (not so covertly) smoke pot recreationally.  Partakers have been asked to “use pot responsibly.” The problem is (or will be) that this group of people is not typically recognized for being responsible or their sensitivity to other people’s concerns, more focused on their own wants and needs.  Who cares if pot has been proven to adversely affect the health of children, pets, and anyone else with a set of lungs? Not them.

Who loses?  Anyone that prefers and strives to keep their own and their loved ones’ lungs smoke and drug-free.  And the taxpayers who are left holding the bag.  This YouTube video by Bryan Cox and Jason Leblanc is one of those funny/not funny things.  You either laugh or cry.

Bring in 2016 with an elimination diet

 

Happy New Year to all of you writers and readers out there in the blogging world.  Instead of a new year’s resolution for a typical diet, I think this suggestion for an elimination diet is a much healthier way to bring in 2016…..

new years diet

Give it a try and make 2016 a wonderful, healthy and happy year!

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

and

be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

 

Protect and cleanse your liver to improve your overall health

You should protect your liver as it is one of the most important organs in your body and essential for life.  Because it supports most of the other organs, a healthy liver is crucial for maintaining a healthy body.  Learn how to protect and cleanse your liver to improve your well being.

A damaged liver caused by bad habits is very serious and potentially fatal.  The following list of bad habits are the hardest on your liver:

  • alcohol consumption:  your body treats alcohol like a poison, so over consumption takes a heavy toll on the liver.
  • poor diet/overweight:  a poor diet that includes toxins from the foods and drinks you consume (sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives etc) causes your liver to overwork as it tries to process these toxins.  Too much fat in the diet causes a fatty liver, another way your liver can be stressed.
  • medication overload:  any artificial substance is toxic to the liver, including medicine.  Even over the counter medications like ibuprofen (advil) can damage your liver if taken in excess.
  • smoking:  tobacco smoke is known to harm your lungs, but it also damages your liver because the toxins inhaled in the smoke are processed in the liver. [1]
  • sleep deprivation:  insufficient sleep can cause many health issues, including stress on your liver.

 

The good news is that your liver has the amazing ability to rejuvenate itself when these bad habits are eliminated or modified.  The foods listed below have been shown to improve liver function and condition, improving your overall health.

What are you waiting for?  Protect and cleanse your liver today to improve your overall health.

Top 10 Best Foods to Cleanse Your Liver

My favourite hydrator is coconut water

My favourite hydrator these days is coconut water.  With more electrolytes than plain water, and less calories than sports drinks, coconut water is a healthy way to stay hydrated when working out.  I buy it in the juice box sizes and take one with me every day to the garden I am working in.  It not only provides me with hydration, I find it gives me an energy boost as well, especially when I am starting to tire and need to push myself to finish the job at hand.

There are many products on the market, be sure to check the sugar content though, some have more than others…

Plan your encore career

Encore careers are becoming increasingly popular, especially within the baby boomer generation.  After a stress laden career, baby boomers are often not quite ready to retire completely, so find a way to continue earning money doing something they enjoy.  An encore career is usually something totally different from  the original career.  This change of focus to something more enjoyable and relaxing can be exhilarating and healthy for active baby boomers.

Growing Bolder's photo.

 

So, if you have been working for years in the same career or same type of job, consider a stress-free encore career.  If you can collect a partial pension or severance package when you leave the old job, all the better.  Find something you are good at that people are willing to pay money for, and start your own business.  It does not have to be a large business and is easier than you think.   You will be amazed at the improvement in both your physical and mental health.

 

 

 

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

an apple a day

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but do you believe it?  I do.   Apples are an incredibly easy, inexpensive, and delicious way to add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet.

Apples have been around forever, since the days of Adam and Eve…

Apples are fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, low in sodium, and full of fiber (with the peel on), pectin, vitamins, flavonoids, minerals and antioxidants. One apple contains approximately five grams of fiber and just eighty calories.

Doctors have suspected for years that constipation, caused by insufficient fiber in the diet, is at the root of many illnesses. Conditions such as appendicitis, varicose veins, diverticulitis, hernias and hemorrhoids are all thought to be caused by strained bowel movements. Most people know that fiber can alleviate these strained bowel movements. An apple a day can go a long way to keeping your body regular and free from constipation. My children can attest to the fact that anytime they complained of a stomach ache, I would always ask them when the last time they had a good poop, then prepare them a large bowl of sliced apples (with the peel still on) sprinkled with cinnamon. See a previous post all about what your poop will tell you.

Pectin is a carbohydrate found in apples that helps our intestines when diarrhea is a problem.  This is because pectin causes food to congeal, just as it does when you use it to make jam or jelly.  Most mothers are familiar with the BRAT diet of bananas, rice, unsweetened applesauce and toast when their children have been ill with diarrhea.  Most of these ingredients are bland and easy on the stomach.  The applesauce (apples without the fiber of the peel) is primarily included in this diet because of the pectin.

Apples are full of magnesium and potassium which help control your blood pressure.   Quercetin is a flavonoid found in apples that protects your artery walls as well as your lungs.  Boron, a trace mineral that is absorbed from the soil, is also found in apples and has been shown to be beneficial for your joints.  Antioxidants are helpful to prevent disease and even to stop the growth of cancer cells once they are present in your system.

Now that you know just how good apples are for you, be sure to eat an apple a day to stay healthy or get healthier, starting today!

photo credit

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the Best Medicine

photo credit

Way back in grade nine I had an assignment to write an essay on a one-word subject; my word was laughter.  Of course, I cannot remember exactly what I wrote, but I do remember getting a great mark on it.  I also remember researching, yes researching, laughter, and learning how good it is for you.  Today, laughter is still recommended as one of the best medicines…

There are many reasons laughter is good for you:

  •  Laughter activates the portion of your brain that produces endorphins which  are natural pain killers.
  • Laughter can boost your immune system by increasing the production of cells responsible for making antibodies and enhancing the effectiveness of T-cells.
  • Laughter therapy is used to relieve stress and anxiety, relaxing the whole body.
  • Laughter causes our hypothalamus to release nitric oxide which causes the inner lining of our blood vessels to dilate.  This dilation increases blood flow and so improves the function of the blood vessels, which can prevent heart disease. Nitric oxide is also beneficial in reducing inflammation as well as preventing platelet clumping in our bloodstreams.
  • Laughter can reduce levels of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine.
  • Laughter can improve your mood and add joy to your life.
  • Laughter can strengthen relationships, reduce conflicts, and improve teamwork.

Laughter is a physical reaction involving contractions of the diaphragm of humans (and some primates) in response to either external or internal stimuli, yet is usually an expression of a positive emotional state, such as joy, happiness, or relief.

Laughter is a natural and free form of medicine that can provide physical and emotional benefits to everyone. 

Beware though, laughter is also very contagious!

Take the Wheat-Free Challenge Today!

Happy New Year!

If you have been thinking of eliminating wheat from your diet, why not start today?   I gave up wheat 18 months ago and have noticed a significant decrease in my cholesterol level, increase in my iron stores, and decrease in my asthma symptoms since then.  I have also shed 10 pounds of weight, most noticeable around my middle.

The good news is you don’t have to have an allergy or sensitivity to wheat to reap the numerous health benefits when you eliminate wheat from your diet.  You will be amazed at how fast you notice a change in your body!

Many of my friends and family members have shown interest in my wheat-free diet, so I thought I would start a blog on the subject…

Please send me your comments, questions, suggestions, and success stories; we can all motivate each other for a healthier 2013…