Be Skinny Wiry Old Lady or Gain Weight?
Glorious morning as walked up hill with dogs. Got slightly late start at 7 a.m. and legs moving slowly. Felt somewhat exhausted; wonder, if friend said, due to my not eating enough lately.
More likely, I think, due to dinner party last night. Day was packed as after slow morning jog up hill, throwing hay to mules in dry corral (trying to get them thinner, only letting out to paddock pasture for few hours in later afternoon), mixing dogs special food blend, then had to research a plumbing issue at rental, make calls to city and plumber, text details to tenant.
Finally able to get started cleaning outside patio, since guests coming for dinner; always wind blows in leaves and needles, wasp nests and cobwebs build up on underside of table and chairs, all flower pots again need watering with days over 100 degrees.
In-between was texting friends, as one had daughter in labor at hospital; calling my parents to find out how home-health nurse visits are going; e-mailing to sister; photographing cake husband made early in morning after picking berries and sending picture to guests.
Dinner this time was not the usual easy affair of steaks and baked potatoes with green salad. Husband raises the beef, so he loves to grill big steaks and we usually love to eat. A change this year — I’ve convinced him we must try to eat a more plant-based diet, as all Blue Zone peoples eat. He’s agree will cut steaks in small strips and we’ll have steak tacos with chopped cabbage-lime-cilantro for filling, tomato salsa and plain Greek yogurt. Will involve a trip out to garden for fresh tomatoes and basil.
Friend is bringing a black-bean and fresh corn salad, which will be a nod towards the daily 1/2 cup of beans all Blue Zone peoples eat.
One Blue Zone has sweet potatoes each day, so I’m trying to incorporate at least several times weekly, will make a recipe from book that contains quinoa, cubed sweet potatoes, arugula, sliced red onion, fresh mint (will need to pick, wash and chop from supply on patio). The recipe wants pears, but I have none, so will substitute tiny fresh mandarin orange slices (Cuties, which we try to keep on hand) and avocado, of which I have two at a nicely just ripe, but still almost-firm stage. Compared to my usual, that will be a huge amount of cooking (quinoa and sweet potatoes) and chopping for everything else.
In-between, had fit in a late afternoon walk up the hill with big white dog, had let mules out to paddock pasture, had opened 21 envelopes received from I.R.S. and sorted into their respective quarters (2 years = 8 quarters, with almost three notices for each; one to say funds being applied, one to show penalties and interest being reversed, resulting, thankfully, in zero balances owed in one year; but strangely, still showing monies owed for three quarters of earlier year. I remember that three refund checks had been sent back, notices previously received saying those being processed, so that when finished will probably clear up that year. Will check it next week.)
Friends arrived, had cooled enough to be enjoyable on patio. We had a fabulous time, the little small steak strips made for a fine meal with lots of big salad sides. Then splurged on beautiful cake topped with fresh whipped cream. Discussion at dinner included mention of our early golf on Sunday mornings; both other couples seemed to think golf not too interesting or beneficial to be spending time on; same sentiments I’ve had at times when frustrated, so will think of its value later. One younger couple leaves early as will be hiking next day.
Other couple stayed later, men discussing politics, friend helping me clean kitchen. Tells me thinks I need to eat more, gain weight so that if get sick when old will have some reserves. Probably, I think, meaning, “you’d look a lot better if those wrinkles on face and neck were filled in a bit,” which is exactly what I see when look in mirror.
Envy the friends who have smooth skin; remind myself was too much sun exposure as a child growing up outside constantly on horses in sunny California, then baking as a teenager to be a beautiful golden brown. Started heavy sunscreen use at age 35, but too late by then.
Exacerbated now, the old-age, wrinkle problem, by such a lot of weight loss, first when doing two Fast Days a week, during last two years. Now have reduced to one Fast Day each week, called maintenance plan by Dr. Mosley’s FAST DIET book and gained back some weight. I find the plan easy, since includes small breakfast and small happy-hour style dinner.
Husband and I saw a PBS documentary about the benefits of alternate day fasting, I got the book at library, was amazed to read studies showing benefits of regular fast days, including improvements in blood pressure, in cholesterol reduction, in lower blood sugars, probably lower risk of cancers due to decreased IGF-1 levels, perhaps even repair of brain cells, at least shown in studies with mice. I was even more amazed to find that the so-called “fast” included ability to have a very small breakfast and a very small dinner. Decided that with all the possible benefits, it would be worthwhile for me to do. For me, the weight loss was not needed, but seemed impossible to stop. I ate more on non-fast days, still getting skinny, older (no stopping that) and wrinkles showing up more.
A year after starting the Fast Days, an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) mentioned that those health benefits did seem to be real, that people were crankier on fast days, but mentally just as capable. Another article six months later in WSJ told that eating all food in an 8 to 10 hour window of the day, perhaps 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., seemed to provide some of same benefits, as body thought fasting when having 16 hours without food. Husband had never completely joined the true Fast Days plan, but when reading about having first meal late and dinner early, he decided liked that idea, so he started doing that. I modified my eating to that plan, along with keeping one real Fast Day each week, having just small breakfast and small happy-hour foods on Thursday.
I think today, as walking up hill, that maybe she’s right, maybe could try to at least have a protein drink and handful of nuts each day. What if when I get the dogs food prepared, I take the Premier Protein drink (found at Costco) out of fridge, pour half into small glass and have with a handful of nuts. Then will have the other half later in mid-afternoon. That way will not overload body with protein, which I’ve read can be reason for kidney stones.
So much plus and minus information on protein amount needed. Latest study seems to show that over-65 can use more. I’d like if would make my skin stronger, as big white dog has given me a skin-tear on arm again, just by playfully putting her mouth on arm. Plus, Blue Zone centenarians in Loma Linda, CA, are big believers in half-cup of nuts each day.
I sit on highest rock on hill, thinking about what to do, watching as huge truck, tiny in distance, pulls away taking area crops to markets. Decide will accept being skinny, wiry, wrinkled old lady; will be more peaceful at this stage of life to let others be beautiful.