Fun with Retirement


Fun and Retirement are suppose to mean the same thing

Etc. Stuff



My Gastronomic Chemistry Set
(The Battle for the Body)

Analyzing the components of what to eat using my gastronomic chemistry set is essential for concocting a wall of defense against the assault on my health or a longer lifespan. Being a senior citizen and wanting to graduate to being a wise old person is a constant challenge that makes it is necessary to carefully pick & choose my poisons. It is full-time battle against all odds and involves not only the woeful time spent at the table, but also the pre-research and calculation processes I must perform to decide what and when to eat. If it is good or bad for me, what it will cure, what it will prevent, and what body part will fall off or which it will add by its consumption.

I prepare oatmeal for breakfast. It is a heart-healthy fiber that supports my body's fight against BAD cholesterol, and not because the glob in the bowl is a mouth-watering delicacy. I use non-fat milk because it is what it says it is, and instead of sugar, I use just a taste of honey, since it is rich in antioxidants that prevent cancer and adds a golden color to the glob. I remember when I ate honey just because it tasted good. I add a few blueberries or raisins to the glob, if I have any; they also help fight the BAD cholesterol. 'I know, I know' some of the affluent boomers eat hand rolled Cheerios and freshly squeezed banana juice, but this glob is what I am stuck with.

Salmon also helps the heart but I just cannot see spreading it on top of my oatmeal this early in the day. I sprinkle a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon on it, which is extra decorative color and improves the glucose metabolism, and prevents my body taken prisoner by diabetes 2. I do all these things because I was told to do so by my supporting army of published nutritionists, and I add a glass of orange juice because it contains everything good, including the sun, as does any fresh fruit. It also lowers blood pressure.

I eat it all my breakfast and feel invincible.

After the morning ritual of preparing breakfast, I realize the real-life normal function of food consumption has become a fundamental part of my entire day. Not surprising, since it happens at least 3 times, and takes up so much of my time and cash; eating has become a full-time struggle to protect myself against the invasion of bad things. Now I'm not an expert, and I'm not a member of the accumulation of experienced researchers and nutritionists who rally around to protect my body, if I were I'd have to write a book to qualify, but I do bring a lifetime of eating experience to the table.

After oozing down my breakfast, I feel like a satisfied kid. I feel like a successful chemist. I also feel confused because lunch is just a few hours away. Lately I have had the paranoid feeling that everything I consume is a life-threatening plot against my longevity. Believe me, this is not half as much fun as flirting with the server while downing hash browns, ham or bacon or sausage, and eggs with buttered toast. Many days I have been tempted to sacrifice a few hours of the unknown future for a single meal of joy; and some days the temptation wins. However, do not tell anyone in my army.
There are so many convoluting, contradicting, and proven studies and marketing statements that it's hard to boil them down to fit into an ideal, yet non-intrusive, nutritional lifestyle.

Let us take 'Cool … Clear … Water'. I have always been told to drink eight 8oz. glasses of water per day. Recently that has been revealed as a myth, probably started by well diggers, because we only lose about 1 liter of water a day through sweat and bodily processes; about four glasses. What is the world coming to? If nutrition experts cannot figure out water, how can I believe them about steak? Then the questions arise, how much to drink, when, and what? When the time comes and I feel thirsty as a prospector in the Mojave Desert, they say I am already dehydrated.

In addition, they say, bottled water does not contain enough fluoride to prevent cavities in children (not my problem anymore), and some tap water contains health-harming bacteria or parasites. A filtration system under the kitchen sink that performs reverse osmosis (RO) is a great answer while I am at home, but a better answer would be a RO built into my body so I can drink from a public fountain or out of the river. There is a $1,000,000 idea for some genius human-body technician.

The scariest part of the day: What is for lunch? Here my gastronomic chemistry set is used to analyze the rations I am about to eat, and choose what I will not eat. Hot dogs and the usual processed meats I consume between bread on sandwiches, besides being fattening, contain preservatives, additives, and other chemicals used for processing. They include toxic nitrates and nitrites, or chemicals formed during processing, and can pull the trigger of the gun aimed at my nervous system. They are snipers in the body also knocking off elements sensitive to insulin, and thus provide another chance of taken prisoner by Diabetes 2.

Soup is good, home cooked is better and some canned are OK, but there are so many flavors and recipes that thorough research is involved to avoid fats and retain nutrients. Eating fast food is a notoriously and highly publicized bad-bad no-no exposed for a multitude of chemical outlaws. A salad bar never fails the fast food test unless it is loaded with pepperoni and sausage from the pizza bar or covered with chocolate syrup from the desert bar.

Dinner can offer one hope in this siege against my body surrounded by an army of destructive elements. That is, if I avoid red meat and pork, which poke red flags along the colon; pizza, which has more artery hardening fat than a cheeseburger; and potatoes, which are good, but with butter or gravy are fattening. Pasta carries a guarantee to make love-handle bulges on my sides. Chicken and turkey sans fatty skin are OK if not deep-fried in bad oil or smothered in a fattening cream sauce. Fresh vegetables steamed or slightly boiled are good chemicals but taste like vegetables that are steamed or boiled, again, no butter. Fresh vegetable salads are the best if tainted with vinegar and olive oil.

Dessert is OK as long as it is non-fat, non-sugar, non-white flour, and served with the perfect taste and texture of cardboard or Plaster of Paris. Dark chocolate contains those helpful antioxidants. What can I say about Jell-O?
My gastronomic chemistry set, as you see, is merely a lifetime of knowledge I have collected over the years in my fight for life. After a while, it becomes a habit to me, and it should be for you, sort of like breathing … and that is not a bad idea either.

Chapter taken from the Book 'How to Have Fun with Retirement'

Seniors' Dreams
(Or: Dreams Don't Stop at Any Age)

What is a dream anyway? It normally is considered a series of mental images and emotions that occur during sleep. The life of the mind while resting on your pillow after being tapped on the brain by the sandman. Or, it could be a cherished desire or ambition while you are awake. You know, to be younger, smarter, and more athletic or attractive.

Dreaming while being wide awake is another possibility, called day dreaming, or in other words, a state of mind characterized by abstraction and the release from the reality around us. Or again it could be what many of us want, the incredible but vain hope of being someone else. You know, indulging in a fantasy or an illusion.

Then there is the impossible dream. There are many ways to go insane, and this could be one of them. Of course, you remember the lyrics to that popular song of the same name - "Dream the impossible dream; to fight the unbeatable foe; to bear with unbearable sorrow; to run where the brave dare not go." But are you brave today? Do you really feel like a fight?
Interpreting dreams can make the time pass, if not enlighten you to your inner feelings. Dreams typically reflect whatever thought, feeling and awareness is on your mind at the time of the dream. The lottery can mean you need some money. Being chased? Most of these dreams are inspired by fears of violence, or maybe you are watching too much TV. To dream that you are eating an apple signifies harmony, pleasure, and fertility. Dreaming about blue (not the blues) represents truth, wisdom, devotion, tranquility, loyalty and openness. Perhaps you are expressing a wish to get away. Interpreting dreams can go on and on and take up a lot of retirement time.

Or perhaps, coming back down to earth, the dream is that perfect mate you married; he/she is a dreamboat, or the person you desire to date. Or that dessert you just had after dinner, or the new car or boat you just bought that rides like a dream.
But truly, in reality maybe the only thing you want is that dream house to retire in. You know, the one set next to a small lake or stream, surrounded by trees and a lush garden, maybe even a vegetable patch, in a quiet neighborhood where you can relax on the porch in the warm sun and catch up on reading all those books that have been gathering dust on the shelf while you were working. To some this would be even more perfect if a bowling alley or the first tee were just a few blocks away.

Or that dream vacation to warm weather or historical settings of the past world. A cruise around the ocean in a large luxury boat filled with food and games and blinding sun while skirting mysterious islands or historical sights. But be careful of fulfilling that dream of skydiving or mountain climbing because earth is way down there. Be real, "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today," said that young and short-lived actor rebel, James Dean, who went for it all and ended it all in a fast Porsche.

But be careful of dreams. They are intangible elements and can fade away, or be lost by a bad decision. But they can't be, or shouldn't be, abandoned. Dreams make the world go round. They are the beauty of the human mind, a function only the human animal can perform. "To dream anything that you want to dream, that's the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits, that is the courage to succeed," Bernard Edmonds.

Seniors' dreams are a way of life and a means to a successful and happy retirement. They are the handles to grab to advance into the future with a smile. Dreams don't stop at any age. Seniors and Dreams go hand-in-hand.

Chapter taken from the Book 'Being a Senior Citizen'