Health & Wellness Over 50s Lifestyle

Living Well – Healthier Eating After 50

February 16, 2020
Eating Healthy

Healthier eating. It is something that we all would like to do but many of us feel that it is too expensive, takes too much time to prepare, doesn’t taste good – pass me that burger and fries!

We can all make excuses and I know we are surrounded by hundreds of diets that we should be following, BUT if we want to continue Ageing Well and Living Well, then we need to start looking at what we actually eat and why. Healthier Eating After 50 is important to reduce the risk of chronic illness such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

My guest this week, is the lovely Donna from Retirement Reflections. A dear blogging friend of mine who I was fortunate to meet when we visited Canada last year is my next guest in the Ageing Well, Living Well Series.

Donna and her husband Richard, have been on a ‘Quest for Healthier Eating’. Donna shares easy tips to getting started on your own Quest. Easy changes you can incorporate into your life. The photos are of meals that Donna has recently prepared or enjoyed. They show that healthy foods do not need to be dull, boring or difficult to prepare.

A Quest for Healthier Eating

When Sue recently asked me to share my top tip for ageing and living well, I thought this post would be a cinch. “Never let yourself get too lonely” is always my top positive ageing advice…., and most longevity experts agree. Then I remembered that I had written that exact post for Sue this past August.

Back to the drawing board!

My second tip for positive ageing is a bit more complex as it focuses on a quest for healthier eating. It’s a journey that my husband and I are currently on. So far, I have more questions than answers. Below is what I have been discovering along the way. All food pics are my own. They show a good sample of the types of foods that comprise my current diet.

7 tips for eating healthier After 50

We all know that we should drink more water, eat more vegetables and reduce our consumption of sugar, processed foods and red meat (for starters). Every time we turn around, updated nutritional studies bring forth newfangled terminology and revolutionary ideas. They often give conflicting advice and confuse what we thought we knew about healthy eating. Adding to this complexity, our dietary needs change and become more complicated as we age. Researchers remind us that our risk for disease and disability increases with poor food choices. Often these choices were previously believed to be acceptable, or even healthy. So how do we stay on top of this, and choose the best diet for each of us?

Here’s where I started:

7 tips for eating healthier After 50

1. Begin by talking to your doctor (and not just Dr. Google). 

S/he should be able to give you some guidance to address your individual nutritional needs. This may include advice on any medications you are taking that could deplete specific nutrients or conflict with certain foods/drinks. Ask about any vitamins or minerals for which you may risk deficiency (iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine, vitamins A, D and B12 are common ones).

2. Choose healthy food/drinks that you enjoy

7 tips for eating healthier After 50

When attempting to change parts of your diet that you struggle with (e.g. water or vegetable intake), choose healthy food/drinks that you enjoy as opposed to ones that you think you should be consuming. Not a fan of kale or Brussels sprouts?

Me neither! Sweet potatoes fulfill 438% of your daily vitamin A requirements and are believed to reduce the risks of some cancers. Unsweetened teas and low-sodium broths can also keep you hydrated when you just can’t take another sip of H20. Pictured above is a Beetroot Latte. (Beetroot juice, almond milk and cinnamon). Surprisingly delicious — and definitely not boring!

3. Heard much about plant-based eatingbut believe that a vegan/vegetarian diet is not for you?

7 tips for eating healthier After 50

A flexitarian diet encourages you to load up on vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains without forgoing all meat or dairy products. It is also kinder to our environment than many of the alternatives. Flexitarian diets are often broken down into three categories. Beginners consume 6-8 meatless meals/week. Advanced flexitarians eat 9-14 meatless meals/week. Experts enjoy 15+ meatless meals/week. The different levels help make this diet more doable for all who are interested. Personally, I love the built-in challenge!

7 tips for eating healthier After 50

4. Consider how you prepare your food. 

7 tips for eating healthier After 50

Steaming vegetables is the best way to retain nutrients and colour. Cooking certain foods with high, dry heat can increase the Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) that we consume. Doesn’t sound good? It’s not. You can read more here. Meanwhile, low, moist cooking methods such as poaching, simmering, steaming, and stewing can help to decrease the formation of AGEs.

5. Stay informed. Knowledge is power.

7 tips for eating healthier After 50

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, approximately 50% of American adults develop diet-related diseases that could be prevented by healthy eating and exercise. Both the World Wide Web and your local bookstore offer endless resources on nutrition and health information. Some  are reliable, and others are less so. Ask yourself: Who is providing the information? Is the advice based on fact or individual opinion? Is the material balanced? Is there an attempt to sell a product? When was the resource published? Verifying any information gained with other sources is also a good idea. Some nutrition websites that I enjoy include The New Canada Food Guide (it’s good), Choose My Plate (it’s fun), Nutrition Facts (from the author of “How Not to Die”) and Best Food Facts. For advice on foods and inflammation, I also like the work of Julie Daniluk. For general health concerns regarding food and nutrition, our family doctor always recommends The Mayo Clinic. Use their search bar to find specifics.

6. Eat mindfully.

This simply means to take the time to understand what/ how/why/where/when and with whom you eat. Becoming aware of the above makes you more conscious of the food you eat and your eating habits. This awareness can help you make positive changes to your eating routines and help you to make healthier food choices more often.

7. Keep food fun.

7 tips for eating healthier After 50

As with tip #3, you’ll likely stick with something much longer when you enjoy it. Experiment with what works best for you.

Here are two examples.

1. Apples, carrots, celery and raw nuts offer a (nutritious) satisfying crunch every time that you bite into them. The more you chew, the slower you eat, and the longer your body has to register that it is full.

2. Even if you only have room for a small windowsill garden, consider growing some of your own food. Fresh, vine ripe tomatoes and basil. Yum!

My hope is that we can make this an interactive post, and you’ll be willing to share your thoughts, practices and successes on this topic. I look forward to this discussion.

What has worked best for you in your quest for healthy eating?

Meet Donna

7 tips for Eating Healthier After 50

Donna is a recovering Type-A personality. She enjoyed 20+ years as a school administrator (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director). 14 of those years were spent in Beijing. Focussed, organized, passionate and diligent, the words ‘relaxed’ and ‘laid-back’ were seldom used to describe her. In her retirement, Donna has been seeking to change this. She and her husband currently live on Vancouver Island where they enjoy time with family and friends. Avid hikers, they have completed four Camino trails and our currently considering a fifth. You can read more about Donna here.

Connect with Donna

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Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter February 16, 2020 at 06:30

    Hi Donna, as a long standing vegetarian (36 years) I think I eat quite healthily, though I have to be careful not to get complacent or even lazy. I have actually made quite a big dietary change lately, though it’s not to do with health. I’m trying to reduce my food miles by avoiding, as far as possible, food flown in from abroad and buying seasonal vegetables grown in the UK. Out goes my Mediterranean style diet, and in come lots of root vegetables and brassicas. It’s a very different way of cooking, so that has sorted out the complacency for the meantime! Your food photographs are beautiful, by the way.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 11:54

      Hi, Anabel – I admire your long-standing commitment to vegetarian eating. I totally agree about needing to stay onguard against complacency. I also admire that you are continuing to refine your diet to focus on the environment. Richard’s and my current quest for healthier eating has been partly motivated by health, and partly by environment. Sometimes it feels like two steps forward and one step back….but we’re getting there.

  • Reply Kate February 16, 2020 at 06:57

    I gave myself a new food challenge this year. My husband is a “plain” eater. Meat, potatoes, gravy, corn, repeat. Every week I buy something new and introduce it in different ways to see what he likes. Last week was avocados. While he has always said he doesn’t like them. (What’s not to like? They take on other flavors!) I started to put one in a salad with other things. I haven’t heard a complaint. This week I bought fennel. We’ll see what I do with that. If I can stretch his food group, it’s a win.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 12:05

      Hi, Kate – I like your currrent ‘food caper.’ I’d love to read more about the results. You’ve mentioned two of my favourite ingredients – avocados and fennel. There are so many great dishes where you can add fennel – salads, soups, stirfrys, pastas. Here’s hoping hubby loved the dish!

  • Reply Jill Weatherholt February 16, 2020 at 07:56

    Thanks for hosting our friend Donna, Sue. I enjoyed reading her tips on ways to maintain a more healthy diet. As someone living with Crohn’s Disease, good nutrition has always been a priority for me.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 12:08

      Hi, Jill – Thank you for stopping by both here, and my site. I greatly appreciate it. I’m glad that you’ve made good nutrition a priority.

  • Reply Karen February 16, 2020 at 09:07

    I retired just over a year ago. I took foods, mostly carbs, for meals at work. I knew I was a stress eater. My personal stressors and my retirement came at about the same time. I rarely eat red meat. Maybe chicken 2-3 times a week and seafood maybe 2 times a week. I always loved vegetables and fruit. Now that I have time for me, and can pay real attention to me and my body, I have lost 125 pounds in 17 months without giving anything up except for gluten foods. I really think I have a gluten intolerance but have not had the needed biopsies. I feel a definite diagnosis is not needed, I will continue to do what I do since I feel good about my food choices. I still have a little weight to lose and it is difficult since I have ambulatory issues, so mostly diet controlled. I eat mostly everything, including treats within reason and still enjoy a cocktail. There are so many eating plans out there and we all just have to find out what works for us so that we can follow it for out lifetime.i can’t wait for summer for farm stands to open and get New Jersey corn and tomatoes and all local foods! A very good article…..thank you!

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 12:15

      Hi, Karen – Congratulations on your success is improving your diet in your retirement. You’ve made an incredible accompishment. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story here. I completely agree that, in terms of diet, we each need to fine-tune what works for us individually. I’m also with you on waiting (impatiently) for the farm stands to reopen! 😀

  • Reply Suzanne February 16, 2020 at 09:53

    Well done, Donna for not being complacent with your diet and being open to new ways of eating. My philosophy is to continually keep my energy in and energy out in balance with each other. Sounds good as I sit here trying to get my motivation into gear to go for a walk 🙂 For me it is a continuous weight battle, and I am determined if I live to be 90 that I will munch on chocolate without a guilty thought!
    We eat seasonal vegetables, and like Anabel, we try to buy only locally grown vegetables and other foods. Like all good intentions when it comes to diet and being environmentally proactive, it is not always easily achievable.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 12:19

      Hi, Suzanne – Balancing our energy in/energy out is so important. I’m totally with you on intentions not always being achievable. The important thing is to keep on going.
      I’m also with you on guilt-free chocolate eating. Dark chocolate (in moderation) is a great choice!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:40

      We all need our guilty pleasures Suzanne and I believe that if we eat healthy and exercise most of the time, we can indulge in our little treats occasionally. Enjoy your chocolate!

  • Reply Jo February 16, 2020 at 10:59

    Fab post & tips. I like the flexitarian approach and your closing advice: to keep food fun. I was reading something the other day about trying to be meat free for 2 out of your 3 meals and as one who isn’t inclined to full time vegetarianism that approach appeals to me.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 12:23

      Hi, Jo – I so agree about the importance of keeping food fun. I also (personally) like to avoid ‘all or nothing’ and ‘cold turkey’ approaches to healthy eating. Balance, moderation and baby steps tend to work best for me.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:39

      Hi Jo, I’m definitely a flexiatarian and although we have cut down on our meat intake and have smaller portions I’m not sure we can give it up entirely. I would say that 2 out of our 3 meals are meat free each day so I suppose that isn’t a bad start. x

  • Reply Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged February 16, 2020 at 11:00

    Hi Donna, Hi Sue! Great inspiration to eat a more healthy diet… and who wouldn’t want to dive into those beautiful bowls full of food! I’m not sure how many meatless meals we eat a week, but I know that meat (although I admit I love the taste) has become a smaller part of our diet. That Beetroot Latte looks intriguing. I am one of those wierd-os who hates beets (they taste like dirt to me) but they make the drink such a lovely color. I may have to put my trepidation aside and try one sometime.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 12:27

      Hi, Janis – Great to hear from you. I’ve missed your posts. (Yes, that’s a hint!) I am also not a fan of beets. The Beetroot Latte may not be for everyone…but it’s definitely worth giving a try if you get the chance. I’d be happy to make one for you! 😀

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:38

      I agree, Janis, I wish I lived closer to Donna (not the other side of the world) as I would love to have dinner at her house! I’m going to ty the Beetroot Latte as I do love beetroot although never would I have thought to have it as a latte! Let me know if you try it! Have a great day! x

  • Reply Natalie February 16, 2020 at 11:55

    Hi Donna – Great tips for eating healthier and thank you for the excellent research you’ve done. Your food photos are beautiful and colourful. I learned a new word “flexitarian”. Based on the listed categories, I’m at the end of Beginner and some weeks at Advanced level. Need to keep working at this 🙂

    In my quest for healthy eating, what has worked for me is that I cook and eat at home most of the time so I have controls over the ingredients, cooking method, and portions. I like moderation in food, a bit from each food group, have colours on my plate, try to choose natural over processed food whenever possible, buy what’s in season and if it’s something new, I eat a small sample first to see if my body likes it.

    I think our body becomes more high maintenance as we age.. Healthy eating and some forms of regular exercises are necessary to keep us in good shape. We can’t do just one and ignore the other. Thank you to Sue for this series.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 12:35

      Hi, Natalie – Your eating plan sounds very wise and balanced. I agree that preparing our own meals usually makes it much easier to know exactly what we eating. Sadly, most restaurants and prepared food do not have our individual health as their #1 priority. 😀

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:36

      Hi Natalie, we cook and eat in and rarely eat out, although I do enjoy a brunch especially after a long run. We are kindred spirits when it comes to healthy eating and exercise and I think that reflects in our energy levels. I agree we need a holistic approach to our health – physical, the food we eat plus looking after our mental and spiritual health as well. Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by. xx

  • Reply Leanne | February 16, 2020 at 14:52

    Hi Donna – lovely seeing you here on Sue’s blog. Those food pics of yours all looked delicious (not sure about the beetroot chai tea though???) We eat a healthy diet, but could probably increase the veggies and decrease the meat even further. I think I’d like to include more fish too. Good fibre and colour always make all the difference and (unfortunately) we just can’t get away with the quick and easy or takeaway stuff like we used to in our much younger days!

  • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 15:12

    Hi, Leanne – The Beetroot Latte is definitely not for everyone. But, it is a great example of the vast array of healthier alternatives that we have to choose from. I also agree that increasing our veggies is usually a good option — especially raw veggies.
    Through a combination of increased information and changing needs as we age, there are so many things that we did when we were younger that I would never think of doing now! 😀

  • Reply Jennifer Jones February 16, 2020 at 17:04

    Hi Donna, I really enjoyed reading your first post. I’ve been almost vegetarian for three decades but I do eat fish. Lately I’ve been eating far too many carbs so time to give myself a talking to. Thanks for the inspiration. Your photos are beautiful. Another great guest post Sue.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 23:30

      Hi, Jennifer – Thank you for dropping by, and for your very kind words. I greatly respect your thoughts on health and fitness. You are a true inspiration. It’s good to know that even those whom we admire need to give themselves a ‘talking to’ now and then!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:34

      I always learn more about you through your blog or comments Jen and didn’t realise you were a vegetarian. I’m not quite there yet but we do enjoy plenty of variety with vegetables each day some in salads and some steamed. Donna’s photos are great and the meals looked delicious. Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by. xx

  • Reply Debbie Harris February 16, 2020 at 18:13

    Hi Donna, I always enjoy reading your posts and this was no exception. I love your tips especially stay informed as knowledge is power. It is easy these days top find out what to eat but it can be confusing too. I ended up going to a nutritionist to help get me on the right track and it has been a very successful partnership. I check in with her every few months and she helps me understand my blood test results periodically. Thanks for sharing your story and tips with us and thanks Sue for another great guest post!

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 23:43

      Hi, Debbie- Going to a nutritionist is such a great idea — especially when we have specific health concerns that we would like to address. I recently took a 6-week nutrition course which was very helpful. Knowing exactly what and what not to eat can be extremely confusing. Knowledge truly is power!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:32

      Hi Deb, I love how Donna always researchers her information for her posts. Knowledge is power and I’ve learned a few new ideas around eating from Donna’s post. Studying for my Fitness Certificate has also helped as the course covers Healthy Eating and referrals to Allied health professionals. Seeing a nutritionist is a good starting point so I’m pleased this strategy is working for you. x

  • Reply Joanne Sisco February 16, 2020 at 22:49

    Donna, I would happily eat everything in the photos you provided! It looks like you’ve not only mastered the art of healthy eating, but make it look pretty at the same time.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 16, 2020 at 23:36

      Hi, Joanne – That’s the trick about healthy eating — making it look and taste delicious. Otherwise, life is simply too short! It’s so good to see you here. I’ve missed your post. Has it really been almost three months?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:30

      Hi Joanne, Donna’s photos make the meals look so tempting! Not sure about the beetroot latte but I enjoy beets so perhaps I should give it a try. Thanks for stopping by to comment and have a wonderful day. x

  • Reply Hilary Melton-Butcher February 17, 2020 at 00:06

    Hi Sue – great to see Donna here … sharing her wisdom – those dishes look quite delicious. We all need to adjust our foods … thankfully I started early in life and have always eaten lots of salads, enjoyed vegetarian foods – yes i still enjoy meat at times, and love fish … but mix and match. I encouraged both my mother and my father’s BIL to drink more water … it’s something we need to have inbuilt as we age … and running to the loo is good exercise!! More exercise and stretching need to be encouraged – ageing well into these last decades of life … cheers Hilary

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 17, 2020 at 01:14

      Hi, Hilary – I love that you are not only a long-time healthy eater, but that you also encourage others to do the same. Although water is one of my favourite drinks, I still don’t always consume as much as I should. I’m off to fill up my glass now!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:29

      Hi Hilary, thanks for visiting and yes, Donnas has become a dear friend of mine even though I live in Australia and she lives in Canada. Whilst I’m not vegetarian we do have vegetables and salads each day and have cut down on our meat portion sizes. We love seafood and Australia provides a bounty of fresh seafood options so we are very lucky. Drinking water is something many people struggle with but it has so many benefits apart from keeping us hydrated. You sound like we have much in common Hilary and would love to get to know you further. Will pop over to your blog and lovely to meet you. x

  • Reply Erica/Erika February 17, 2020 at 03:56

    Hi Donna, Nice to see you here on Sue’s Living Well Series. All of your photos are great! Everything looks healthy, colourful and tasty! I agree how some nutritional advice is trendy, conflicting and confusing. You do remind me how important food and nutrition is for positive ageing. I recall when my Father was elderly, compromised and ill, how we would refer to “food” as “medication.” He could not eat a great deal or chew easily, so it was even more important to make sure the food he was eating was extra nutritious and not making him ill.

    I love your term, “flexitarian diet.” Our dinners usually consist of a vegetable salad with pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and some form of seafood. We are very lucky we live on the West Coast and have access to fresh fish. It looks like you roasted the vegetables. Always a great idea! I do have a guilty pleasure about once a month and only when we are away from home. For me, French fries. My husband will meet up with my daughter and her boyfriend for Chinese food about once a month. Not my thing.

    A wonderful, comprehensive post, Donna! Excellent 7 tips! Your research is evident and I appreciate the links. ?
    Thank you, Sue, for featuring Donna and all of the gems in this post! ?

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 17, 2020 at 05:14

      Hi, Erica – Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful comment. I agree with your father — food can be a great form medicine. I also agree that food should be enjoyed – so I’m all for guilty pleasures (in moderation, of course). I am not much of a french fry eater, but I may steal one or two if you having some. I do like Chinese Food — 14 years living in China will do that to a person! 😀

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:26

      Donna’s photos are very tempting aren’t they Erica? I think I would be classed as a Flexitarian and living in Australia there is an abundance of seafood. We all need our guilty pleasures, Erica mine is chocolate! Donna has certainly researched well and provided us with some valuable information and arguments for reassessing our eating habits. Have a beautiful day and thanks for visiting, Erica. xx

  • Reply Liesbet February 17, 2020 at 04:03

    Hi Donna! You put another informative and interesting guest post together. I see none of your food photos have meat in them, so I take it that your plant-based diet is going well. 🙂

    I have a good friend who thinks color on the plate is important (and it looks pretty). For me, variety might be the key. I LOVE food, but I don’t like cooking. Luckily, my husband is a fantastic cook. Just yesterday, he prepared mushroom patties with aioli on a bed of organic mixed greens, with jasmine rice. It was easily the best vegetarian meal I’ve had in years.

    If it’s up to me, I would mostly be a vegetarian. As it is, we only really eat chicken once in a while. When I read the section about how many meatless meals flexitarians eat, I was baffled by the amount. Then, I realized I only think about dinners when it comes to cutting out meat, as all our other meals are meatless by definition. I guess my average is 19 out of 21 meals is vegetarian.

    I think we are eating pretty healthy, at home anyway. No red meat, lots of greens, little sugar (only in self-prepared food), no sodas, and only “healthy” oils for cooking. When we eat elsewhere, it’s a free for all! 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:23

      Hi Liesbet, thank you for visiting to comment on Donna’s guest post. I always say ‘eat a rainbow’ which is based on the Australian Dietary Food Guidelines. Variety is the key and simplicity. I’m currently studying to become a personal trainer and one of the modules is Healthy Eating which I’ve found interesting and useful ideas to implement into my life. We eat quite healthy meals however we do treat ourselves to chocolate (dark of course). My husband and I stopped drinking alcohol two years ago and that has made a huge difference to our health also.

  • Reply Donna Connolly February 17, 2020 at 05:23

    Hi, Liesbet – Mushroom patties with aioli on a bed of organic mixed greens with jasmine rice sounds absolutely amazing. I just may try to make that for dinner tonight! Richard and I do eat some fish and meat but mostly when we are not at home. We try to keep our at-home cooking primarily plant-based. Like you, everywhere else can be a free for all. The good thing is that when you begin to eat healthier, I find cravings for less healthy foods begins to dwindle — at least mine did.

    • Reply Dr.Amrita Basu February 21, 2020 at 16:32

      In India we have a traditional diet.Most of our meals are rich in veggies abd fruits .Lunch generally has small fish or chicken 4/5 times a week.This helps us stay active and fresh.We are both doctors and even after writing 4 books on nutrition,I realized there’s always more to learn.

  • Reply Ingrid February 17, 2020 at 05:32

    Great advice and nice post!

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 17, 2020 at 09:06

      Thanks, Ingrid. I appreciated your comment here and on my site as well. Advanced planning for meals when traveling is a great idea. That is usually when all bets are off for me! 😀

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt February 17, 2020 at 06:27

    So nice to see Donna here with her ideas of eating healthy meals, Sue! As a person who has “watched” my weight for most of my adult life, there are some good tips here. I am surprised at how I eat more “meatless” meals than I thought. Hubby loves to grill, so I insist on chicken and salmon/fish most of the time. He could eat less red meat! Most of the tips seem doable, and I could be a LOT more mindful (than mouthful) when eating 🙂

  • Reply Donna Connolly February 17, 2020 at 09:09

    Hi, Terri – I love your expression “more mindful than mouthful”. I will definitely be borrowing that!
    I’m frequently surprised how easy it is to eat a vast array of healthy, delicious meatless meals. We have definitely moved far beyond Grandma’s Bean Chili! 😀

  • Reply susan scott February 17, 2020 at 20:21

    Thank you both for such a great post! We’ve just got back from being away and I’m off to the shops just now to get in delicious veg and salad and other for the few days we’re here before setting off again. I saw a friend of mine while away and she’s lost 6 kg since beginning Jan, because of NOT eating pasta and rice, bread, chocolates etc etc … and starting off her day with lemon juice in hot water. I’m encouraged and impressed. Those carbs have gotta go .. those of the not good kind ..

    Approaching our eating habits with wisdom is the way to go. Also when making it look so appealing means that the creative juices are flowing to make it so.

    When steaming veg, retain the juices of them to drink. Same with beetroot! Keep the juices, blend with anything! A bit of fresh ginger and turmeric powder, celery whatever is a glassfull of goodness! Buy local …

    GORGEOUS photos Donna! Thank you both again ..

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:17

      Hi Susan, great idea to retain the juice from steamed vegetables, I’ve never thought of that. I start the day with lemon juice in warm water and although I don’t eliminate carbs from my diet, I select ‘good carbs’. It is important to include carbs, proteins, fats and micro nutrients in our diet, however, educating ourselves is the key. Donna has provided some ‘food for thought’ pardon the pun and yes her photos are very tempting. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. Have a lovely day. x

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 18, 2020 at 11:48

      Hi, Susan – Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. I hope that your trip to the grocery shops turned out well. I completely agree that mindfully taking stock of what & how we eat can lead to very positive changes. A good friend of mine lost a fair deal of weight simply by no longer eating in her car. The power of reflection + action is incredible!

  • Reply greenglobaltrek February 17, 2020 at 20:36

    Excellent solid post. I like how you cover the gamut of seven dimensions. Love the beet latte, that looks pretty delicious ~ sounds like an interesting and viable alternative to my husband’s twice daily cappuccino addiction.

    After I had breast cancer in 2005, I did an enormous amount of research to determine the healthiest and best diet for moving forward. I was lucky enough to meet Dr Gabriel Cousens in person and learnt from him that the optimal diet to stay cancer and disease free, is a raw plant based one. Not easy to do of course, especially at first. But the cooking of vegetables does change the nutrient profile and therefore I might add to your list of 7, the concept of eating raw vegetables. This is a distinct category to strive for given the scientific evidence behind it.

    One more category I would toss your way for consideration ~ the concept of time. Not only the time to chew mindfully, but the question of time as in narrowing the window when food is being processed versus extending the window when the body can rest the digestive process and focus on other parts of the body. (Intermittent fasting).

    Very informative and well constructed post.


    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2020 at 04:13

      Hello Peta and thank you for visiting to leave your comment. I’ve always heard that raw vegetables are the optimal way to eat them as they do lose some of their nutrient value when cooked. I remember growing up and my Mother’s generation felt you had to over cook vegetables so they were soft to eat but of course their nutrient value was affected. Like your idea of the concept of time. Mindful eating has become something of a ‘buzz’ topic lately however, I’ve never thought of the digestive process, that is an excellent point you have raised. Donna’s post has proven to be very popular with some valuable comments from readers. Enjoy your day!

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 18, 2020 at 12:04

      Hi, Peta – As with you, illness caused me to do an enormous amount of research to determine the best diet for moving forward. In my case, the motivator was my husband’s severe rheumatoid arthritis. Thank you for mentioning the power of raw vegetables, as well as intermittent fasting. Cooking food can destroys nutrients and natural enzymes that boost digestion and fight disease. I agree that increasing raw foods in our diets is often easier said than done. As with most things, even small changes in this direction can make a positive difference. I haven’t yet tried intermittent fasting, but the research is very strong about the health benefits that can be achieved through this.
      Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. I appreciate it greatly!

  • Reply Samantha Smith February 18, 2020 at 05:17

    Hello Sue and Donna. Lovely to see you as a guest on Sue’s fabulous blog, Donna and what great advice and beautiful looking food! Every plate looks so colourful and inviting, enjoyed reading this.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 18, 2020 at 12:05

      Hi, Sam – Thank you for your kind words. On your next trip to Canada you should come out closer to my way (Vancouver/Vancouver Island). I’d be most happy to prepare any of these dishes for you! 😀

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 20, 2020 at 05:32

      Hi Sam, thanks for visiting! I enjoyed Donna’s photos too! The food looks delicious and as it is so healthy it is a win/win. Who says healthy food has to be boring? Have a great week. xx

  • Reply Pamela February 19, 2020 at 09:17

    All great advice here, Donna (Sue – thanks for inviting Donna – I love all of her posts). 🙂 I like the idea of being a flexigenarian (sp?). Most of our friends eat more meat than we do, but N (a dear friend) decided in early January to be a vegetarian, for healthy reasons as well as to not eat “sentient” beings. But her husband, D, loves food and is not happy about her decision (quietly); he is the cook in their household and is trying to find fun new recipes with no meat. I think they’d both be happier if they were more flexible in their meal choices. My guy and I eat little meat, some poultry, lots of fish mingled in with our veggies. We love yams and sweet potatoes, but sometimes I treat us with roasted potatoes. The one big change in my eating habits is that I eat s l o w l y (that way, I eat less but enjoy my food more). Everyone in the family is always finished way before me, and they’re now calling me “Nanny” (my mom’s name) because she began to eat slowly about 20 years ago. And guess what? My mom is lithe and slender and still alive at 95! 🙂

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 19, 2020 at 14:28

      Hi, Pam – Thank you so much for this thoughtful comment. I love hearing about your Mom — she sounds like an incredible woman. Eating slowly is such a good idea on so many levels. It’s a simple change that can yield BIG results. Good luck to N and D. I hope that they find a happy balance.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 20, 2020 at 05:49

      Hi Pamela, Donna is a very special person in my life and I’m always happy to have her as my guest on the blog. It can be difficult if one in the relationship wants to make changes and the other isn’t that inclined. It certainly makes meal preparation difficult! I would say I’m a flexitarian and have been trying to cut back on meat (which my husband and I find difficult at times). My problem is that I eat too fast and I’m usually finished first! I need to be more mindful of what I’m eating and savour the flavours. Donna has shown that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. How lucky you are to have your Mum and at 95 she sounds like she is still Sizzling! Have a great week 🙂

  • Reply Nancy Andres February 19, 2020 at 09:57

    Just love the photos and enjoyed your tips for eating healthier after 50. Visiting from #MLSTL.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 19, 2020 at 14:29

      Hi, Nancy – Thank you for stopping by, and for your kind comment. Both are greatly appreciated! #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 20, 2020 at 05:59

      The food is healthy and looks delicious Nancy so a win/win really. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment and being part of #MLSTL.xx

  • Reply Christine Aldred February 20, 2020 at 12:35

    What we eat is so important to our health, isn’t it? I have a good healthy diet although I’m a bit naughty with sugar and I have a very sweet tooth, carried over from childhood. I’m great with veggies and we hardly have any processed food: it’s just keeping that sugar under control!

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 20, 2020 at 15:25

      Hi, Christine – Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Sugar is so many people’s tough spot. Sounds like the rest of your diet is spot-on and provides a good balance.

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan February 21, 2020 at 12:57

    First I want to say your photographs are so lovely. I wish I could taste those beautiful, vibrant fruits and veggies. The salad with the watermelon, onions, and cucumber looks so pretty. On second look – is that watermelon or tomato? Whatever the case, I would enjoy the flavors and textures with my tongue and the colors and shapes with my eyes! I think some of the pleasure of eating comes from delighting senses other than taste.

    I remember you stressing the importance and value of eating mindfully. I keep saying I want to be more mindful but then I slurp down my soup as fast as I can. Or gobble salad without even tasting it. Really, really do want to change that.
    This statistic is alarming – “According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, approximately 50% of American adults develop diet-related diseases that could be prevented by healthy eating and exercise.” We do better at exercise than we do at thoughtful, careful eating. I like the idea of being a flexitarian. I could probably cut out most meat but don’t think I could do that to PC. So, this is a great, more doable option for us.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 22, 2020 at 08:15

      Hi, Leslie – That’s tomato in the salad…but watermelon would be an awesome replacement. Thank you for the suggestion. I believe that a flexitarian diet has lots of advantages for our health and our planet, and is much easier for many to achieve, and stick with.
      I love your recipe swap link up posts. Please include me again – especially when I can include any recipes similar to the ones shown here. 😀

  • Reply Christina Henry February 21, 2020 at 18:43

    This article covers every dietary guideline that I learnt from my dietian. I lost over 17kg using these exact principles. Food definitely became more interesting and something to look forward to. Losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle is possible for anyone, no matter what age or background. You just have to know how.

    • Reply Donna Connolly February 22, 2020 at 08:21

      Hi, Christina – Thank you so much for sharing this. I have always wanted to meet with a dietitian/nutritionalist but getting an appointment where I live is easier said than done. This is a good reminder for me to try again. Congratulations on your loss of 17kg. I’m glad to hear that these same principles were helpful.

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins February 25, 2020 at 02:19

    Well done, Donna! You know that this is a topic near and dear to my own heart!
    The cleaner we can eat, the more local, and the fewer animal products we consume improve both our health and the planet.
    My biggest challenge is salt and oil…have really reduced them, sauteing in broth for example, but they are still there.
    Recommend Michael Gregor (Daily Dozen app helps a lot; we are hearing him speak in Punta Gorda next Monday) as everything he recommends is research-based.
    Thanks Sue for having Donna back for a visit.

  • Reply Adrienne February 27, 2020 at 10:52

    What a great post full of helpful info and healthy ideas! The Beetroot Latte looks yummy! (Is there a recipe for it somewhere?) Thank you, Sue and Donna, for such a wonderful post! Adrienne from Gluten Free Preppers and a member of the Blogger’s Pit Stop Crew

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 27, 2020 at 12:39

      Hi Adrienne, thanks for visiting and I will check if Donna has a recipe she can send you. Have a great week. x

  • Reply Dr Sock April 2, 2020 at 08:09

    Hi Donna and Sue. Donna, thanks for a great article, and your food photos are outstanding. Reading this, I am surprised to find I am an advanced flexitarian. I rarely eat meat or fish for breakfast or lunch, and we have at least one meat-free dinner per week. Dinner (supper) is our main meal of the day. My challenge is that Rob really likes to have meat or fish with dinner. So, I prepare a lot of low-meat dinners (e.g., soups, stir fry) and I also try to limit beef or lamb to once a week, as raising cattle and sheep has a particularly negative impact on the environment. I don’t see vegetarianism in my future any time soon as I love good food and for me meat and fish is part of a tasty, varied diet. But flexitarianism — that I can do.


  • Reply Donna Connolly April 2, 2020 at 11:59

    Hi, Jude – I love that there are now so many different dietary options that we can all choose which one suits us best. Sounds like you and Rob have a great eating plan. Win-win!

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