Fit at fifty plus: A recipe for youth

by Joanne on August 15, 2017

Ok, here it is, I’m over fifty. Wow that was tough since I never think of myself over 20, well, maybe 30. As long as I don’t lean in to close to the mirror and let the wrinkles remind me or let the stiffness when leaning over to tie shoes act like a slap to the head, I’ll go through my day like a 30 something.  I’ll order my favorite coffee standing tall exuding confidence until the young barista gives me the senior discount without even asking.  Sure I saved some money but really, do I look THAT OLD!

Age is just a number. Let’s make 50 the new 30.  Keep the body fit and the mind will follow.  Here’s how to do it and, by the way, there is no pill in this recipe.

Recipe for youth.  No baking required.  Makes enough for a lifetime


4 cups eating well

3 cups of exercise

2 cups of forgiveness

1 cup of positive thinking

1 cup of sleep

1 cup of self improvement


Eating well is the “egg” to this recipe. Nutrition binds everything together to give us the mental and physical means to feel good mentally and physically. Three to four meals per day with healthy protein, carbohydrates and fats at every meal.  The protein builds muscle and brain power.  Carbohydrates give us the fuel to move through our day with the energy to succeed.  Fat delivers the nutrients in our foods quickly and efficiently through our body.  Healthy protein would be lots of sustainable seafood (if you are unsure of what is sustainable, here is a link:, protein rich grains such as quinoa (reference here:, lean meats such as turkey, chicken, or the occasional lean red meat.  Carbohydrates include lots of vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains, sweet potatoes, and squash such at butternut, buttercup, and acorn.   Add a little healthy fat by way of olive oil, coconut oil for cooking and baking and add avocado to a salad or make a dressing with mashed avocado.

Exercise is an easy and fun addition to life. Make sure you enjoy something that gets your heart rate up at least 30 minutes a day.  After all, what is 30 minutes out of your entire day? Not much if you think about it. Aerobic exercise, weight bearing movements, and stretching comprise the perfect fitness combination.  Aerobic exercise will make you lose weight but a lot of it will decrease muscle mass as well so be sure to get into the gym or out in the yard for some heavy lifting a couple of times per week.  Stretching is a necessity as we age because of the loss of flexibility.  Simple stretches for 10 minutes to wake you up or before sleep is perfect.

Combine forgiveness of self and others on a daily basis. Accept that mistakes happen or the wrong words are said.  When it comes to other people, remember we don’t know their situation or the influence behind the action. Forgive, forget, and love your neighbor.

Wake up every morning with a positive thought. Turn negativity around and try to be positive.  Positive people smile more.  Smiling helps bring positivity to light. If it’s an especially difficult time, help another person overcome a challenge. Helping others is the best way to help ourselves.

Sleep is not an optional ingredient. To bring all the above together, the body and mind needs to rest and repair.  Cells are rebuilt at times of rest. Not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep every night but a solid 6 to 7 hours will allow recovery from the challenges of the day.

Lastly, but again not optional is self improvement. Always try to be a better you.  Whether you want to increase your knowledge of geography, science, or anything more specific, do it. Open a book and read.  Write down ways you believe you could be a better you and go for it. Set goals and move forward.

That’s my recipe for fitness at fifty plus. I said it again!  As I think about what I have and how I live my life, it doesn’t hurt to say it that much.  I’ve learned a lot and I’m still improving.  I work out almost every day and surround myself with positivity.  It’s a good life and I’ll continue to keep this recipe around for the rest of it.

What’s your favorite recipe for a healthy, fit, happy you?


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Nate 12K 2017 Recap

by Joanne on July 1, 2017

Thoughts before getting to the real topic of this post:  In all the articles focused on training, they have one thing in common which is to be flexible.  Be able to adjust your schedule and training as events dictate.  Ok but that doesn’t mean we like it.  This summer has hurled a lot of forced adjustments at me since we’ve had thunderstorms cropping up out of no where.  For one, we don’t run in storms. For another, we have a dog that completely freaks out when he hears thunder and someone has to be home with him.  As I sit here writing this post, that’s exactly what happened this morning.  For the second weekend in a row, I got up early, ate a little something, drank my 5Hour Energy to get ready for a long run. For the second weekend in a row, I had to quit early due to stormy weather.  I’ll try again tomorrow but it sure does get me heated when my head is all set to run long and I have to stop and get my thoughts wrapped around doing it another day.  Grrrr!

What did I do today?  I got 60 minutes running in with Zoey. Went into the gym for 40 minutes doing 20 minutes of weights and 20 minutes on the elliptical.  The treadmill would have been nice but that didn’t want to cooperate either. So there is my rant now on to the point of this post.

Nate12K Race
After some trepidation, I finally signed up for one of the first race venues I ever ran.  Years ago only the 5K distance was offered but now there is a very convenient 12K.  This race is held about a month before the Utica Boilermaker 15K race.  A runner could hardly ask for a better preparation distance or race!
Last year I signed up for this same 12K race but sat in the parking lot race morning listening to the thunder and watching lightning strikes.  Another deterrent was the unpredicted cold temperature which I hadn’t dressed for.  Needless to say, my 2016 Nate 12K was a DNS.  Not this year.  2017 race day arrived with no excuses.  The weather was near perfect, a bit on the warm side but certainly better than what could be early June in upstate New York.

The week leading into the race my mood does a sky dive and I’m as cranky as all get out.  I get depressed with my thoughts almost completely focused on race day.  Why?  I can’t answer that.  I’m not an elite athlete with great expectations.  I just want to run well. It might be because I know I’ll be out of my running comfort zone.  I’ll be running at a pace I don’t do on a weekly basis for any extended amount of time.  This is how it goes.  That’s what racing is all about.  Still, I don’t like it.
The start:  There are no corrals, no seeding, simply a request from the announcer for slower runners and/or walkers to line up at the back for their own safety as well as courtesy to faster runners.  However, there are a lot of kids in this race because both the 5K and 12K line up together and run the first 2 miles together.  Kids aren’t the problem but they do seem to enjoy running with their shoes untied and once they notice, look out! They stop dead in their tracks.  Knowing this, we should all take those first couple of miles easy.  However, I was panting.  I kept telling myself to slow down because the effort felt hard for being the first couple of miles into a 7 plus mile run.   Plus, the sun was shining and the temperature was rising.  Water stop one was welcomed.  Water stop two was also welcomed but turned out to be a no go since only one volunteer was working it and she didn’t have any cups in hand with none filled on the table.
The turn onto the canal trail:  Just after 2 miles, 12K runners take the road along the canal.  A hard pack surface but Ted, who had been riding along on his bike, opted not to try it.  At this point, I was thirsty and had lost my cycling hubby so I decided to draft a group of 3 in front of me.  Where was the water?!   We had to wait until exiting the trail and back onto the road.  There were no spectators along the trail which makes it that much more tough.

To the finish:  I passed my “draft team”, still urging myself to slow down to comfort level which I did for about 30 seconds at a time.  I don’t remember a lot of spectators but there were folks sitting on lawn chairs road side at various points.  I heard the finish line announcer and couldn’t get there fast enough. What a great feeling crossing that finish line after running hot and hard!  I took note of how quickly my recovery was.  No heavy breathing. Nothing hurt and legs had recovered in about 5 minutes.  Darn it! Does that mean I could have run harder?!  As it was I finished in 1:01:04 net which is about a 71% age graded stat.  I’m ok with that but had hoped I could come in just under the hour mark.

Thoughts on the race:   Nice venue from road to trail back to road.  The spectator support was average.  Needed more fully stocked water stations.  Since I won my age group, I received a champion shirt.  Unfortunately, they had run out of all small and medium so I took a large which will go to Ted. Will I race it next year?  Probably not.
What about the Boilermaker 15K?  I’ll most likely run hard even though the crowd will dictate a slower start.  We’ll see what race morning brings.


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Puttin’ on the Ritz

June 18, 2017

We are into the hot, steamy days of summer.  Who feels like baking when temperatures are close to 90 degrees? Certainly not me.   Once all chores were done and we had our fill of sunshine and heat, we took the fun in doors and got creative in the kitchen without heating things up.  These no […]

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Just a regular bowl of cherries, at least through August

June 4, 2017

We are coming into the ripening dates for cherries, according to the  Have you seen them in the stores?  They are all so deep red, shiny and mouthwatering fresh looking.  I’ve never been able to resist fresh cherries when they look so vibrant. It’s been told that cherries pack a pretty awesome healthy punch […]

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Lime Mint Watermelon Fresca with VOSS

May 7, 2017

I’ll be completely honest, I’m not a fan of drinking the required amount of water throughout the day. What is it? 8 ounces a day?  Well, I looked it up and according to the Mayo Clinic, the average requirement of FLUIDS per day for women is 9 cups or 2.2 liters.  The 8 glasses per […]

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Mushroom Tart

April 29, 2017

Years ago, we hosted a holiday party and I made a wild mushroom tart.  It was filled with assorted wild mushrooms and it was delicious.  I love mushrooms.  As a vegetarian, they often make an appearance in many homemade dishes. Nutritional benefits of mushrooms high in antioxidants, selenium, vitamin D, folate. 8oz of grilled portabella […]

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