“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” That’s what François de La Rochefoucauld had to say on eating well, and though he lived in the 1600s, some things never change. Eating intelligently is all about blending pleasure and nutrition into a balanced diet for adults that sustains the body, mind, and spirit. Even if you are managing health conditions and a body that works a little different than it did in your twenties, thirties, or even forties, there are all sorts of ways that you can eat healthy and still enjoy your favorite foods.
Food is one of the most intimate experiences a person can have, not only with themselves but with their community and culture. What we eat is in many ways a reflection of who we are, which can make changing the way we eat feel a little intimidating. If you are having a hard time transitioning away from cooking regularly, have retired to a new city far away from your favorite meat-’n’-three, or your doctor has told you to cut out the Salisbury steaks in favor of leafy greens, that can feel tough. But never fear. Like Rochefoucauld, you can embrace the French way of balancing health and decadence to make your golden years delicious and nutritious.
Most dietary guidelines emphasize getting plenty of fruits and vegetables while limiting fatty meats, fried foods, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates. It’s important to be mindful of sodium, as well as fat and sugar. That might sound like a recipe for nothing tasty, but you’ll be surprised by how flavorful lean protein and vegetables can be when prepared well. For example, you might think of France as the land of croissants and bon bons, but provincial French cooking emphasizes garden-fresh veggies, tender meats, and bright herbs. Let’s not forget about pastries, candies, and rich dishes. These are often served in small quantities and saved for special occasions. The French also embrace the importance of eating three square meals a day, and limiting snacks or mindless eating.
They also know it’s important to enjoy the things you love, and to enjoy eating together with your loved ones and neighbors. That’s why we organize activities like the U.S. Foods Tasting Party and Waffle Brunch, so you can enjoy life to the fullest. In between special occasions, we serve three made-from-scratch meals daily. Our executive chef and the kitchen team ensure these meals healthy without sacrificing flavor, and offer residents an opportunity to gather together. There are a variety of options to appeal to different tastes, and if you have a specific health condition or medication that interacts with certain foods, we’re happy to work with you to ensure you are able to eat well without stressing.
You also might be pleasantly surprised by how good you feel when you start cutting out the foods that are slowing you down. It might make those group activities, from yoga to men’s fishing, a little easier, too. Healthy eating is a great way to maintain your wellness and get the most out of your seniors years. And with a whole senior living community committed to health, it’s easier than ever to eat intelligently and savor the flavor in life.
Written by: Meghan O’Dea