Preparing Salads – The Joy of Cooking Healthy in Retirement
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Preparing Salads – The Joy of Cooking Healthy in Retirement

Retirement is a wonderful life landmark, ushering in a new period of freedom and possibility. Free from the constraints of a work schedule, you are all of a sudden open to new experiences. You can make new friendships, rekindle old ones, spend time with family and take up new leisure activities. In short, it can be great fun.

But with retirement comes a renewed need to stay healthy. There will always be the temptation to order food in, or to cook according to impulse rather than dietary health, but as you get older it becomes more and more important to pay attention to what you eat. You may not be doing as much BBQing as you once did!

It can be tough sometimes to keep up with the latest diet trends. One day, you are told that fats are bad for you, and the next day there’s a news story touting the purported benefits of fats. One day, bread is the cornerstone of a healthy meal, and the next it’s public enemy number one. But while science may change, and opinions may vary, there is one thing that pretty much every medical professional and doctor can agree on: vegetables, in particular raw vegetables, are very good for you. Salad it is!

Raw vegetables, of the kind you might put in a salad, are often chock full of minerals and vitamins, as well as a healthy dose of dietary fiber. Additionally, depending on which vegetables you opt to use, you can get a fair amount of antioxidants, those agents responsible in slowing the rate of free radicals and cell degeneration. For a list of vegetables high in antioxidants, consult this handy list.

As for fats, look to healthy oils like olive oil to add a little zip to your dressing. Or, choose a few ingredients high in healthy fats, like avocados, or nuts and seeds. You can also easily add protein to salads, either in the form of a plant-based protein like beans, legumes or tofu, or in the form of a healthy meat or seafood. There are healthier grilling options for cooking meat but overall, if health is the name of the game, it’s salads all the way!

Gone are the days when a salad simply meant a heap of iceberg lettuce on a plate! There should be no reason why your salad can’t be every bit as filling, nourishing and satisfying as a cooked meal. A salad can easily become a well-rounded meal with the addition of some protein and a modest amount of healthy carbohydrates and fats. It’s as simple as it is healthy.

Of course, if you need assistance in preparing healthy meals – whether shopping, meal planning or cooking – don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a caregiver. Where your health is concerned, you should always try and remain proactive, and it’s easy to see how caregivers make a difference health-wise for the people they help. Likewise, if you know of a loved one who might benefit from the help of a caregiver, don’t hesitate to have the conversation.

Whether making salad on your own, or with a loved one or caregiver, it can be a golden ticket to a long, healthy retirement. Get creative, try some new ingredients and start enjoying the best chapter of your life… the healthy way!

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